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 Americas
bombing of secret
targets inside Laos...
INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS, Rescue Dawn is the amazing story of one man's
survival against over-whelming odds. Dieter Dengler, played by Christian Bale
(Batman, The Machinist, Harsh Times), is a US Navy fighter
pilot sent on his first mission a top secret air-raid of the jungles
of Laos to take out enemy supply lines during the Vietnam War.
The airmen on the mission appear very upbeat, joking about massage parlours.
But their bravado hides the very serious side of the conflict as Dieter
discovers for himself when an air ambush forces him to crash-land on unknown
terrain and he is captured by the notoriously ruthless Pathet Lao soldiers.
Refusing to sign a paper condemning the "imperialistic aggression and the corrupt
and debased political establishment of the United States
of America against innocent children and the peace-loving working classes",
Dieter is surprisingly calm and firm in his resolution that he loves and supports
After a harrowing ordeal in which he is dragged behind an ox, hung upside down
and submerged in water "The living," he says, "have their sleepwalkers.
And so do the dead" he is marched barefoot to
a small Laotian prison camp where he meets two Americans already held captive
for a mind-numbing two years along with three Thais and one Chinese (Y C To,
played by Galen Yuen). Duane, played by Steve Zahn (Sahara, Shattered
Glass), the barely-sane Gene (Jeremy Davies: Secretary, Dogville)
and the others are nearly broken in spirit. While Duane's advice is to keep
quiet to stay alive, Gene insists "Any day now they will release us."
With their feet put into stocks at night and their hands manacled, escape seems
futile. But Dieter has some tricks up his sleeve proving very resourceful
when it comes to utilising old bullet shells to be fashioned into blades and
nails into tools with which to unlock their chains.
When a Vietnamese woman inspects the prison camp and finds a piece of broken
glass, Dieter assures her it is used for shaving and manages to coax a smile
"The jungle is the prison" says Duane; but something inside Dieter refuses to
give up no matter how hard the others try to dissuade him and
he plans a last-ditch bid for freedom through the savagely-beautiful and dangerous
jungles of South-East Asia.
Critically-acclaimed, Rescue Dawn is one of the most remarkable adventures
in modern history, with a gripping climax. A stark epic of survival, Rescue
Dawn reveals how Dieter Dengler relied on the most primal qualities of evasion,
endurance, tenacity and courage to attempt to make his way back home. A great
The DVD is packed with special features, including an audio commen-tary by writer/director
Werner Herzog and interviewer Norman Hill, five featurettes and seven deleted
scenes. The atmospheric music is by Klaus Badelt and the striking panoramas
are the work of Director of Photography Peter Zeitlinger. Don't miss your chance
this thrilling and gripping true story.
From Pathé Distribution Ltd and Directed by the internationally-acclaimed Werner
Herzog, Rescue Dawn was released on DVD on
7 April (2008) and is available to buy or rent. Running Time 125
minutes | Certificate 12 | Price £19.99 | Cat No P923501000.
Audio commentary by director Werner Herzog and interviewer Norman Hill | The
making of a true story: Unfinished Business Telling Dieter's Story (4min
18secs) | Strength of Character (9 mins 15 secs) | War Stories (23 mins 51 secs)
| What Would Dieter Do? (6mins 44 secs) | Sound of War (9 mins 18 secs) | Seven
deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Werner Herzog and interviewer
Norman Hill (5mins 36 secs 36 secs) | Stills Gallery | Theatrical Trailer.
Dieter Dengler was born in Germany in 1938 and died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
in 2001. The only other known survivor was Thai Pishidhi Indradat (his character
was played by Abhijati Jusakul in Rescue Dawn) who was recaptured and
later rescued. He now lives