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Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  27 July 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 80,282 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 198 user | 197 critic | 36 from

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Viet Nam War.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Bell ...
Farkas (as Gregory J. Qaiyum)
Saichia Wongwiroj ...
Province Governor (as Francois Chau)
Teerawat Mulvilai ...
Little Hitler (as Teerawat 'Ka-Ge' Mulvilai)
Yuttana Muenwaja ...
Kriangsak Ming-olo ...
Somkuan 'Kuan' Siroon ...
Chorn Solyda ...


In 1965, while bombing Laos in a classified mission, the propeller plane of the German-American US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler is hit and crashes in the jungle. Dieter is arrested by the peasants, tortured by the Vietcong and sent to a prisoner camp, where he meets five other mentally deranged prisoners and guards. He becomes close to Duane and organizes an escape plan; however, the unstable Gene opposes to Dieter's plan. When they discover that there is no more food due to the constant American bombings in the area and their guards intend to kill them, Dieter sets his plan in motion. However, an unexpected betrayal splits the group and Dieter and Duane find that the jungle is their actual prison. Written by PHD, in CT USA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

guard | prisoner | bombing | laos | jungle | See All (201) »


A true story of survival... declassified. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense war violence and torture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

27 July 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rescate al amanecer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$110,326 (USA) (6 July 2007)


£89,988 (UK) (23 November 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There is an aircraft decal of a boy flying using a umbrella on the outside of Dieter's cockpit. This is a reference to a German children book story of a flying Robert who, in spite of the advice of his parents dared to go out into the storm. The storm carries him away and they never find him again. See more »


During Dieter's shoot-down scene, when the camera cuts to the flight instruments inside his plane, the altimeter is shown winding down rapidly from 57,000 feet yet he's just above the ground. Also note, the 10,000-foot indicator fails to move at all AND the rate of climb indicator shows a slight climb. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: In 1965, few people believed that the still limited conflict in Viet Nam would turn into full scale war. / One of the first signs of what lay ahead was America's bombing of secret targets inside Laos.
See more »


Referenced in Jumper (2008) See more »


Double 2 Bows
Performed by Frances-Marie Uitti
Composed by Frances-Marie Uitti
Published by Uitti Productions
Courtesy of Frances-Marie Uitti
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent Herzog movie
10 September 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw this at the world premiere last night, and it was really great. Not my favorite Herzog movie, but overall his most well rounded one and definitely his most mainstream. It has a chance of doing quite well at the box office. The acting is all around terrific, and the camera work beautiful.

Most Herzog movies seem like these flawed masterpieces; movies that are worth watching for several moments of intense brilliance. Rescue Dawn had these moments of brilliance, and the rest seemed like a very well made thriller / action movie. However, it didn't quite pack the same punch as the best moments of Fitzcarraldo or Aguirre. Still, I gave it 5/5 on my voting ballot.

172 of 248 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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