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Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Drama | 2 October 1998 (USA)
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Viet Nam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Viet Cong, recreating many events for the camera.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dieter Dengler ... Himself
Werner Herzog ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Eugene Deatrick 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 »
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Details

Country:

Germany | UK | France

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flucht aus Laos See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

The Movie Poster shows what's actually a German Luftwaffe aircraft painted with US markings. See more »

Quotes

Dieter Dengler: I don't think of myself as a hero. No, only dead people are heroes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release adds an epilogue which tells of Dieter Dengler's death from ALS in February 2001 and shows footage of his burial at Arlington National Cemetary. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Rescue Dawn (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impressive ! & Touching
10 November 2007 | by MoviespotSee all my reviews

Wow.this is a touching story! First i saw 'Rescue Dawn'.I didn't 'like' it. And now i have seen the person , Dieter Dengler , about whom this story is being told by Herzog.Very Impressing.Dieter is a driven human being who encountered the most opposite emotions in his live on this earth.what an extraordinary life this person has led. His tale about the capture by the Patet Lao/Vietcong and thus his suffering is horrifying but what's most impressive is his incredible will to survive.How could he find the strenght ? In a haunting way , Dieter is telling us in full flowing sentences about his terrible ordeal during his captivity... he is a great storyteller and Herzog does him the justice this brave man deserves.

In my opinion.'Little Dieter needs to fly ' tells it all ! , leaving nothing to the imagination , thus making ' Rescue dawn ' a superfluous film. The horror doesn't get more real than in the words of Dieter Dengler himself.He totally succeeds in painting the picture.


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