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Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,666 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 39 critic

German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera.

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Title: Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dieter Dengler ...
Himself
...
Himself / Narrator (voice)
Eugene Deatrick ...
Himself
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Storyline

In 1966, Dieter Dengler was shot down over Laos, captured, and, down to 85 pounds, escaped. Barefoot, surviving monsoons, leeches, and machete-wielding villagers, he was rescued. Now, near 60, living on Mt. Tamalpais, Dengler tells his story: a German lad surviving Allied bombings in World War II, postwar poverty, apprenticed to a smith, beaten regularly. At 18, he emigrates and peels potatoes in the U.S. Air Force. He leaves for California and college, then enlistment in the Navy to learn to fly. A quiet man of sorrows tells his story: war, capture, harrowing conditions, escape, and miraculous rescue. Where did he find the strength; how does he now live with his memories? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Dieter Needs to Fly  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exotic-sounding music heard during the "native" sequences is Mongolian overtone music, sometimes called "throat music." It enables the singer to sound as if he had two or more voices. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Dieter took an early retirement from the armed forces and became a civilian test pilot. He survived four more crashes and flies to this day. Death did not want him.
See more »

Connections

Version of Höllenfahrten: Flucht aus Laos (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Powerfully Moving Documentary
9 September 2004 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

This documentary film from the great film-maker Werner Herzog, tells the story of Dieter Dengler, who grew up in Germany with a passion for flight. Emigrating to the US he joins the Army in order to become a pilot, during the Vietnam War.

Dieter's incredible story is told in his own words. Most of the film involves Dieter in the various locations of his story, describing what happened to him. Dieter comes across as very likable and good-natured. With his eye for the telling detail and surreal moment, Herzog once again explores the mysteries of the world and human nature.

This is a humorous, powerful and deeply moving work and is well worth catching.


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