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
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 »
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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