7.3/10
99,983
229 user 185 critic

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
Reviews
Popularity
4,815 ( 13)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Dieter Dengler
Zach Grenier ... Squad Leader
Marshall Bell ... Admiral
Toby Huss ... Spook
Pat Healy ... Norman
GQ ... Farkas (as Gregory J. Qaiyum)
James Aaron Oliver ... Jet Pilot (as James Oliver)
Brad Carr ... U.S. Navy Pilot
Saichia Wongwiroj Saichia Wongwiroj ... Pathet Lao Guard
François Chau ... Province Governor (as Francois Chau)
Teerawat Mulvilai Teerawat Mulvilai ... Little Hitler (as Teerawat 'Ka-Ge' Mulvilai)
Yuttana Muenwaja Yuttana Muenwaja ... Crazy Horse
Kriangsak Ming-olo Kriangsak Ming-olo ... Jumbo
Somkuan 'Kuan' Siroon Somkuan 'Kuan' Siroon ... Nook the Rook
Chorn Solyda Chorn Solyda ... Walkie Talkie
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Based on the extraordinary true story of one man's fight for freedom See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Zahn lost 40 pounds for his role. See more »

Goofs

In the supply scene, before setting out for the mission, the U.S. passport Dieter shows is not only the wrong color (blue rather than green), but is also the smaller size in use today rather than the larger size in use at the time. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Connections

Spun-off from Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Alleluja
(from "Three Latin Hymns")
Performed by Frances-Marie Uitti
Composed by Giacinto Scelsi
Published by G. Schirmer, Inc.
Courtesy of ECM Records
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User Reviews

 
Outstanding tale of survival
29 July 2007 | by zetesSee all my reviews

If you're a big fan of the mad German genius Werner Herzog, you might be disappointed in this, his first foray into Hollywood film-making. This is polished and not at all experimental. However, to me it feels like Herzog, when he stepped up to the plate, said to himself, "Well, I can make an American film. And I can make a better one than 95% of American films." And there's nothing wrong with that. The film is a dramatization of the events retold in Herzog's earlier documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Christian Bale plays Dieter Dengler, an American citizen and German emigré who had one of the most impressive survival instincts ever seen in a human being. Shot down in Laos in the opening throes of the Vietnam War, he was taken to a brutal POW camp where he met two other American POWs (Jeremy Davies and Steven Zahn in the film) and three Asian men who had worked with the enemy. The two Americans had been there for an average of a couple of years, and had all but given up hope (the Davies character is sure there will be peace soon enough). Through his amazing ingenuity, Dieter planned a heroic escape. Most of the movie takes place in the POW camp. Most of what I remember from Little Dieter Needs to Fly, which I saw around two years ago, is the escape. It's a disturbing, horrifying tale of survival. I would have liked this part to be the longer, but it works very well. It's certainly harrowing. I was disappointed that one of the images I really remember from the original film did not appear: the bear that stalked Dieter during his final days wandering in the jungle. He considered it almost a friend, but in the back of his mind realized it was following him because it wanted to eat him. Herzog keeps things extremely subtle, telling them very much the way they happened. The story develops more like real life, not like a movie. It keeps melodrama to a minimum. My only problem is how it ends. The ending is way too boisterous and uplifting. Dieter Dengler was most definitely an upbeat kind of guy, but his suffering and the awful things that he saw – heck, with the awful things that we just experienced with him, so vivid is this movie – don't lead well to the celebration that ends the movie. I very much liked this film, and think it is one of the best I've seen so far this year.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Luxembourg

Language:

English | Lao | Vietnamese

Release Date:

27 July 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rescue Dawn See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,326, 8 July 2007

Gross USA:

$5,490,423

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,177,143
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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