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Director: Werner Herzog     Starring: Christian Bale Steve Zahn
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Learn more about Rescue Dawn (Blu-ray):

Format: Blu-Ray DVD
Sku: 205813487
UPC: 027616092137
UPC 14: 00027616092137
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Action/Adventure
A Werner Herzog Film.
In 1965, an American pilot on a top-secret bombing mission was shot down over Laos and taken to a hellish prison camp deep in the impenetrable jungle of Vietnam. What followed was one of the most remarkable and harrowing experiences of the entire Vietnam War. Inspired by the true story of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) and written and directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, Rescue Dawn is an uncanny tale of camaraderie and betrayal, courage in the face of despair, and triumph over tragedy. It stands as a true testament to the impossible boundaries of the human condition and the invincibility of the American spirit.

"...a riveting adventure story that Herzog tells in all of its terrifying, stripped-down simplicity...a fascinating study of human particularity.  Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times
"Christian Bale is brilliant. Steve Zahn is a revelation.  Entertainment Weekly
"Four stars. Exhilarating!  New York Post
"Bale is extraordinary, grinning like a kid, displaying wily intelligence, sinewy resolve and spirit - and a bit of craziness, too.  Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"An electrifying action adventure that clamps your nerves with jaws of steel.  The Observer

Editor's Note
Incomparable director Werner Herzog takes another strange turn in his eclectic career with RESCUE DAWN--a major studio picture starring Christian Bale (BATMAN BEGINS). The film is an adaptation of Herzog's 1997 documentary LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, which focused on Dieter Dengler, a pilot who was imprisoned by enemy forces during the Vietnam war. Dengler escaped and his incredible reminisces about this period in his life spilled onto the screen in Herzog's documentary. Here, Bale plays Dengler, while Herzog constructs a dark masterpiece around him, inviting his audience to observe a dramatic reconstruction of the events that beset the unfortunate soldier. Bale's Dengler is aided by fellow captive Duane (Steve Zahn), and a capable cast of characters who variously play prisoners and sadistic guards. The film is split into two parts, with the harrowing experiences of prison life taking the bulk of Herzog's screen time, followed by a desperate bid for survival in the jungle.

Bale really gets a chance to demonstrate his acting chops as RESCUE DAWN unravels, with the actor heading on a rapid downward spiral as the film progresses. Herzog rarely allows the tension to drop throughout, and while most audiences may expect some relief as Dengler escapes his confines, things get much worse as he heads into the perilous Vietnamese jungle. Herzog presents plenty of raw emotion and a rough, at times barely watchable, portrayal of the human spirit, as Dengler's sanity is severely tested, and often only held together by his companionship with Duane. RESCUE DAWN requires a strong stomach, but it's a rewarding trip, and another wonderful addition to the Herzog canon.


Video Features Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, English, Spanish, Subtitled

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Tcfhe/mgm
Video Release Date Release Date: 11/20/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 126 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2007
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 109213
Video UPC UPC: 00027616092137
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Rescue Dawn - DVD Review
By: Franck Tabouring Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 11/11/2007 10:17 PM
This time Herzog takes a break from documentary filmmaking and chooses a more dramatic approach to tell Dengler's story of survival. The result, of course, is fantastic. The film is not about war or politics, but about Dieter and Dieter alone. Herzog spends two hours depicting the man's dreams, his tragic accident and his quest for survival in the jungle, but every minute of it is utterly captivating. the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Christian Bale
Video Cast Info Jeremy Davies
Video Cast Info Steve Zahn
Video Cast Info Zach Grenier
Video Cast Info Arin "Aoi" Pinijvararak - Art Director
Video Cast Info Elton Brand - Producer
Video Cast Info Gerald Green - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Joe Bini - Editor
Video Cast Info Klaus Badelt - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Peter Zeitlinger - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Werner Herzog - Director
Video Cast Info Werner Herzog - Writer

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"[With] dark Nietzschean insinuations and ferocious performances from Christian Bale and Steve Zahn." 09/29/2006 p.57

Box Office
"Bale plays his character with much bravado..." 11/01/2006 p.102

"[W]ith an authenticity and eccentricity that's pure Herzog....Just as rousing and involving as any more conventional film of the sort you could name." 12/01/2006 p.44

Rolling Stone
"Herzog builds incredible tension without losing sight of the toll war takes on what makes us human." 05/31/2007 p.82

Entertainment Weekly
"Zahn and Bale enact an enthralling masculine duet. Out of a harrowing story set in a foreign thicket, Herzog has found American beauty." -- Grade: A- 07/13/2007 p.47

USA Today
"Bale turns in a mesmerizing performance....Steve Zahn, a fellow captive, shows he has the chops for serious drama." 07/06/2007 p.6D

Total Film
4 stars out of 5 -- "Christian Bale is phenomenal....Gripping, emotional and, oddly, gloriously optimistic." 11/01/2007 p.60

3 stars out of 5 -- "Echoes of Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo reverberate around Dengler's predicament." 10/19/2007 p.73

3 stars out of 5 -- "Immensely watchable, gripping and thematically of a piece with the likes of AGUIRRE WRATH OF GOD..." 12/01/2007 p.134

ReelViews 8 of 10
Rescue Dawn, which transpires in southeast Asia during 1965, makes three things perfectly clear. First, director Werner Herzog is obsessed with the story of Dieter Dengler. Second, Herzog loves making movies about men with a tenuous grasp on sanity who are trapped deep in the jungle. Third, lead actor Christian Bale no longer has a stable weight...Christian Bale continues to amaze with his ability and range. He may be the most versatile under-40 performer today. No role seems to be beyond him, and he has worked with some of the best directors of his era (including, but not limited to, Steven Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh, Terrence Malik, and now Herzog). He becomes Dieter, with all of the man's odd personality quirks and boundless energy. It's a great performance and requires a lot of dedication...With its high level of verisimilitude, unhurried pace, and stretches of tension, Rescue Dawn represents a solid effort from Herzog (who seems to be dividing his time between documentaries and feature films) that fans of the genre should actively seek out. The film arrives in theaters during the midst of the summer blockbuster season but represents a more engaging way to spend two hours than nearly any of the louder, more heavily promoted fare. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
This feature has been long on the mind of Herzog, who film for film is the most original and challenging of directors. He used the real Dieter Dengler in a 1997 documentary named "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," in which he took Dengler back to the jungle, and together they re-created his escape while Dengler provided a breathlessly intense narration...Considering that Herzog made both films, it is perhaps not surprising that the "fictional" feature is more realistic than the documentary. With Herzog there is always free trade between fact and fantasy...The movie is, indeed, perhaps the most believable that Herzog has made. For a director who gravitates toward the extremes of human behavior, this film involves extreme behavior, yes, but behavior forced by the circumstances. There is nothing in it we cannot, or do not, believe. I was almost prepared to compare it to the classic storytelling of John Huston when I realized it had crucial Herzogian differences...One is the use of location...The other Herzog touch is the music. Herzog recoils from conventional scores that mirror the action. Here he uses not upbeat adventure music, but brooding, introspective, doomy music by Klaus Badelt; classical and chamber performances, and passages by Popol Vuh, the German New Age band that supplied so much of the feeling in "Aguirre" (1972) and "Fitzcarraldo" (1982). - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Bale,Christian
Product attributeLabel:   Mgm Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   Blu-ray DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   Blu-Ray
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