7.9/10
43,052
186 user 66 critic

The Killing Fields (1984)

A journalist 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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(screenplay)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dith Pran (as Dr. Haing S Ngor)
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Al Rockoff
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...
Military Attaché
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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
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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 »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los gritos del silencio  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$34,600,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shots with large helicopters (the scene where Pran's family and other international diplomats are evacuated) were filmed in San Diego, California almost 7 months after principal photography in Thailand. See more »

Goofs

During the evacuation of the U.S. embassy, a soldier is taking down the U.S. flag and climbs back into the building of the embassy, but he forgets his assault rifle. 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in 101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Band On The Run
Written by Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney (uncredited)
Performed by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine
Courtesy of MPL Communiactions, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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