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The Killing Fields (1984)

R  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  1 February 1985 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 39,347 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 68 critic

A photographer is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody "Year Zero" cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million "undesirable" civilians.

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dith Pran (as Dr. Haing S Ngor)
...
Al Rockoff
...
...
Military Attache
...
U.S. Consul
...
Dr. MacEntire
Athol Fugard ...
Dr. Sundesval
Graham Kennedy ...
Dougal
Katherine Krapum Chey ...
Ser Moeum (Pran's Wife)
Oliver Pierpaoli ...
Titony (Pran's Son)
Edward Entero Chey ...
Sarun
Tom Bird ...
U.S. Military Advisor
Monirak Sisowath ...
Phat (K.R. Leader 2nd Village)
Lambool Dtangpaibool ...
Phat's Son
Edit

Storyline

Sydney Schanberg is a New York Times journalist covering the civil war in Cambodia. Together with local representative Dith Pran, they cover some of the tragedy and madness of the war. When the American forces leave, Dith Pran sends his family with them, but stays behind himself to help Schanberg cover the event. As an American, Schanberg won't have any trouble leaving the country, but the situation is different for Pran; he's a local, and the Khmer Rouge are moving in. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every so often, there is a film that is destined to be talked about and remembered for years to come. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los gritos del silencio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$34,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of the film's release, Ukraine was a deeply polarized country, with many commentators feeling that Civil War was inevitable. The film was a big success in the country, especially amongst children, and it was used in schools to show the younger generation what happens when a nation implodes. According to producer David Puttnam, during the Orange Revolution, the main reason there was never much of a possibility of a civil war breaking out, was because the generation staging the revolution had been inculcated by the film not to go down that road. See more »

Goofs

When Sydney is talking to Dith Pran in his room, Sydney's hairstyle changes between shots. It goes from neatly combed to hanging down over his forehead to neatly combed again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sydney Schanberg: Cambodia. To many westerners it seemed a paradise. Another world, a secret world. But the war in neighboring Vietnam burst its borders, and the fighting soon spread to neutral Cambodia. In 1973 I went to cover this side-show struggle as a foreign correspondent of the New York Times. It was there, in the war-torn country side amidst the fighting between government troops and the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, that I met my guide and interpreter, Dith Pran, a man who was to change my life ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Peculiar Memories of Bruce Robinson (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Nessun dorma
(from Puccini's opera "Turandot")
Performed by Franco Corelli
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Orchestra del Teatro dell Opera Di Roma
Conducted by Francesco Molinari Pradelli
Courtesy of EMI Records Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

8/10 - Won't be forgotten (in a good way!)
1 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

Brief Summary: This movie depicts the story of one Dith Pran engulfed in one of the most tragic genocidal regimes to ever grace this planet. Pran has been caught in the Year Zero program, an attempt from the Khmer Rouge to wash away all preknowledge of societies and start everyone over as simple farmers. 'Wash away' is being used in a light context though, people such as doctors, students, teachers, etc are being killed. Children are being honoured and respected as their minds have not had the time to be corrupt by the western traditions. This explains the fact that many of the Khmer Rouge are in fact teenagers. We experience through our eyes the many horrid nightmares Dith experiences at the hands of these young tyrants.

Review: A pretty typical story of an individual being caught in a 'wipeout' program much akin to the many holocaust films out there. What makes this film stand out is that it shows the viewers a different regime in history with very much the same effects on its population as the holocaust. The acting is superb by all degrees, in fact, the main actor Dith Pran (real name Haing S Ngor) has actually been through the horrors of Pol Pot's regime. In conclusion, a nice movie to watch just to see the power of a regime other than the Nazi's as well as a man who has to go through all of it.

8/10 - Won't be forgotten (in a good way!)


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