An alien narrates the story of his dying planet, his and his people's visits to Earth and Earth's man-made demise, while human astronauts attempt to find an alternate planet for surviving humans to live on.
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
The film was shot in reverse continuity so Christian Bale, having worked hard to lose weight for the role, would appear the gauntest at the end, and then could simply gain the pounds back over the course of filming, working backwards through time so that when Bale returned to his average weight he would be filming his scenes as Dengler prior to being taken prisoner. See more »
At the end of the scene in which Dieter is given the choice of signing the document condemning America, his glass of water magically gets refilled as he is taken away, and then goes back to its original level. See more »
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.
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Performed by Ernst Reijseger (as Ernst Reijseger) (Solo)
Composed by Ernst Reijseger (as Ernst Reijseger) (BUMA)
Published by Winter & Winter (GEMA)
Ernst Reijseger appears courtesy of Winter & Winter, Munich, Germany See more »
I saw this tonight at a preview in Somerville, Mass - a really excellent film. Just such good storytelling, with great suspense, and the usual Herzog weird touches that I am guessing must have come from him (and not the true story). The acting is also superb - both Christian Bale and Steve Zahn are fantastic. Bale really captured this guy's incredibly indomitable spirit, but also his almost child-like wonder and naivete at the world - which ironically enough helps him survive. I found the whole story really moving. The very ending of the film really disappointed me, but it didn't ruin the evening by any means. Wonderful music too. Interesting also to see the documentary about the REAL Dieter, LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY (http://imdb.com/title/ tt0145046/), also made by Herzog. I saw it at a film festival 10 years ago - and Herzog and Dieter were there! Of course, much of Dieter's 'real-life' obsessive-compulsive behavior - such as opening and closing a door multiple times after passing through
turns out to have been 'suggested' by Herzog! Cheeky filmmakers...
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