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
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4,953 ( 111)
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:

This summer experience the incredible 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

Christian Bale lost 55 pounds for his role. See more »

Goofs

When Dieter is dragged behind the water buffalo shortly after his capture, you can see the tracks of the car dragging Christian Bale in the sand. 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sole Survivor Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

River in the Rain
Performed by Ernst Reijseger (as Ernst Reijseger) (Trio)
Composed by Ernst Reijseger (as Ernst Reijseger) (BUMA)
Published by Winter & Winter (GEMA)
Ernst Reijseger appears courtesy of Winter & Winter, Munich, Germany
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User Reviews

 
Exceptional POW film
30 July 2007 | by ElijahCSkuggsSee all my reviews

After getting shot down in Laos, Dieter Dengler is captured, tortured, and eventually transported to a remote POW camp where he is united with fellow American pilots with the same problem. With the arrival of Dengler, a new spirit emerges among the group, and an escape plan soon hatches. RESCUE DAWN is a story of struggle, friendship, keeping one's sanity, and survival amidst a war-brewing Vietnam and its inhospitable jungles. Werner Herzog does a great job with his direction, giving his actors full reign as well as inspiring them to their creative peaks. Each actor in the film does their best with each role; none becoming too hammy or extreme in their techniques; with Bale, Zahn, and Davies all shedding flesh as well as comfort in preparation for their tasking roles. Great cinematography throughout, as the Laotian backdrop is realized vividly; looming stone cliffs and walls of vine add further quality to the prison feel, and empty fields and lush rain forest paints the wild of Vietnam effectively. The music is excellent, and serves the film nobly, never trying too hard for tears or pity. RESCUE DAWN is a feel-good movie without really trying to become one, which is where so many survival and hardship movies fail; but any imperfections this film does have, is certainly overshadowed by its obvious technical genius, excellent acting, and courageous story.


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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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