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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 39,712 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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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:

He was a reporter for the New York Times whose coverage of the Cambodian War would win him a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. But the friend who made it possible was half the world away with his life in great danger... This is the story of war and friendship, the anguish of a country and of one man's will to live. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene in the movie where Haing Ngor's character must give up his watch or he will be shot. He does and he is lives. In real life the gang members that murdered him demanded his Rolex watch, he gave it to them, but they shot him anyway. 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 Swimming to Cambodia (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Imagine
Written by John Lennon (uncredited)
Performed by John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band (uncredited)
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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