2006   USA Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn Image Cover
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Director:Werner Herzog
Writer:Werner Herzog
IMDb Rating:7.5 (44,282 votes)
Awards:1 win & 3 nominations
Genre:Action, Drama, War
Duration:125 min
Werner Herzog  ...  (Director)
Werner Herzog  ...  (Writer)
Christian Bale  ...  Lt. Dieter Dengler
Steve Zahn  ...  
Jeremy Davies  ...  
Zach Grenier  ...  Squad Leader
Marshall Bell  ...  Admiral Berrington
Toby Huss  ...  Spook
Pat Healy  ...  Norman
GQ  ...  Farkas (as Gregory J. Qaiyum)
James Oliver  ...  Jet Pilot
Brad Carr  ...  U.S. Navy Pilot
Mr. Saichia Wongwiroj  ...  Pathet Lao Guard
François Chau  ...  Province Governor
Teerawat Mulvilai  ...  Little Hitler (as Teerawat 'Ka-Ge' Mulvilai)
Mr. Yuttana Muenwaja  ...  Crazy Horse
Mr. Kriangsak Ming-olo  ...  Jumbo
Somkuan 'Kuan' Siroon  ...  Nook the Rock
Mr. Chorn Solyda  ...  Walkie Talkie
Saichia Wongwiroj  ...  Pathet Lao Guard
Kriangsak Ming-olo  ...  Jumbo
Chorn Solyda  ...  Walkie Talkie
Peter Zeitlinger  ...  Cinematographer
Yuttana Muenwaja  ...  Crazy Horse
Summary: In the tradition of The Great Escape and The Deer Hunter, Rescue Dawn is Werner Herzog's take on the pulse-pounding POW genre. Unlike most such efforts, however, his isn't just based on a true story, it's a remake of his 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. German-born Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale, who first made his mark in Steven Spielberg's prison camp drama Empire of the Sun) has longed to pilot a plane since he was a boy. When he joins the Navy during the Vietnam War, he gets his wish. Then he's shot down over Laos. Though he survives, Dengler is captured by the Pathet Lao. Through his internment, he meets Duane Martin (Steve Zahn in his finest performance), with whom he becomes fast friends. While Dengler is arrogant and resourceful, Martin is patient and humble. With Dengler's assistance, the prisoners escape, but the untamed wilderness turns out to be just as dangerous (cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger ably captures its cruel beauty). Those who've seen Little Dieter know how this tale ends. Suffice to say, Herzog's reenactment makes for rousing entertainment. If the film has a flaw, it's that the rah-rah finale plays like something from out of a mainstream sports movie. That quibble aside, the actors, including Jeremy Davies as a delusional campmate and Toby Huss as a fellow flyer, are aces. And Herzog, who's been concentrating on nonfiction, like Grizzly Man, proves he can direct a Hollywood-style action epic with the best of 'em. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Little Dieter Needs to Fly

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