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?
Did You Know?
The film begins with this quote: "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die and death shall flee from them. - Revelation 9:6". See more
The Movie Poster shows what's actually a German Luftwaffe aircraft painted with US markings. See more
I don't think of myself as a hero. No, only dead people are heroes.
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