MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,886 this week

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,883 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 42 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.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 09 May 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 14 Sep 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

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

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Little Dieter Needs to Fly.
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog
Fata Morgana (1971)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lotte Eisner, Eugen Des Montagnes, James William Gledhill
Woyzeck (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Franz Woyzeck is a hapless, hopeless soldier, alone and powerless in society, assaulted from all sides by forces he can not control.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Eva Mattes, Wolfgang Reichmann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Jean Clottes, Julien Monney
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry
La Soufrière (1977)
Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Herzog takes a film crew to the island of Guadeloupe when he hears that the volcano on the island is going to erupt. Everyone has left, except for one old man who refuses to leave. Herzog ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century.

Directors: Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov
Stars: Werner Herzog, Nikolay Nikiforovitch Siniaev, Gennady Soloviev
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Inspired by a true crime, a man begins to experience mystifying events that lead him to slay his mother with a sword.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny
Wings of Hope (TV Movie 2000)
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Werner Herzog returns to the South American jungle with Juliane Koepcke, the German woman who was the sole survivor of a plane crash there in 1971. They find the remains of the plane and recreate her journey out of the jungle.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Juliane Koepcke, Juan Zaplana Ramirez
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flucht aus Laos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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: But from the air, Vietnam didn't seem real at all. For Dengler it was like a grid on a map. He had suddenly found himself not only a pilot, but a soldier caught up in a real war. But even though it was all very real, everything down there seemed to be so alien and so abstract. It all looked strange, like a distant barbaric dream.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Rescue Dawn (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fascinating, even if it doesn't completely gel in all respects
8 October 1999 | by (toronto) – See all my reviews

The movie is mainly a monologue, with glimpses of Dieter's life nowadays, but built in its central section around the somewhat bizarre device of having him return to the jungle with a band of Vietnamese who partly reenact his experiences - he demonstrates torture techniques, the march through the jungle etc. Herzog is too much a filmmaker to be satisfied with mere memories it seems - he must also see: although with full knowledge that this form of retrospective seeing will be inescapably somewhat bizarre. Dieter's past traumas and current stability (although he's still preoccupied by the idea of closed doors and is still hoarding vast unneeded emergency food supplies - the former seems a bit staged, but that's part of the intrigue) seem to chime with Herzog's own past glories and now relative reduced state, and the title with its obviously childish edge has an air of longing and acknowledgment of past fantasies and their fatal possibilities. But despite the true pain of the monologue, Herzog doesn't dwell on adversity, but rather on the ultimate grandeur (for example, the final image of thousands of military planes parked in the desert) - in which context his movie seems to fall short of the true cosmic resonance of some of Errol Morris' work. But he coaxes Dieter's story expertly and has the classic strengths of a good story-teller, and the movie's quite fascinating even if it doesn't completely gel in all respects.


15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I Only Wish There Were More Dieters in the World lagomorph13
Rescue Dawn chansky111
great doc teejay6682
Drama? Tragedy? Comedy? Cass1us
Footage of the press conference brightsmite
Discuss Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?