German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Vietnam 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.
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
At nearly $5.5 million in the United States, this is the highest grossing film to date (March 2008) for Werner Herzog (his films have generally played in art-houses in the US). See more »
Shortly after being shot down, Dengler is seen randomly flashing his signal mirror in order to attract attention. The proper way to use such a mirror is to sight the rescue aircraft through the transparent circle in the center of the mirror, which then automatically aims the reflected light right at the aircraft. 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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I saw this at the world premiere last night, and it was really great. Not my favorite Herzog movie, but overall his most well rounded one and definitely his most mainstream. It has a chance of doing quite well at the box office. The acting is all around terrific, and the camera work beautiful.
Most Herzog movies seem like these flawed masterpieces; movies that are worth watching for several moments of intense brilliance. Rescue Dawn had these moments of brilliance, and the rest seemed like a very well made thriller / action movie. However, it didn't quite pack the same punch as the best moments of Fitzcarraldo or Aguirre. Still, I gave it 5/5 on my voting ballot.
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