Rescue Dawn

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Production: MGM
  1 win & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min



At ease, gentlemen.

Be seated, please.

As you've all probably noticed,

we're currently headed north.

Tomorrow morning at 0500 hours, we will

be taking a position at Yankee Station.

That means we're back in business.

We'll be flying sorties over North Vietnam

to take out enemy supply lines,

which means we have to

cross over into Laos.

This mission is classified.

No cards and letters to sweethearts.

No phone calls to family back home.

- Is that understood?

Yes, sir.

No one can know.

No one except Charlie

when we kick his ass.

For survival

in the jungle environment,

the smart soldier must understand

that nature is not a force against him.

He has to make nature work for him

by utilizing the ample natural

provisions at his disposal.

Is this a double feature?


For God's sake, just lean your

head back and open your mouth.

What is this?

Hell, the boys back home

don't know anything about the jungle.

In the jungle,

your best friend is your knife.

Oh, look at...

Now he's getting serious.

Cut the leaf, man. Here it goes.

Come on, baby, cut. Cut.



Where is the salt and

pepper shaker for that leaf?

Chew it, boy! Chew it!

Leaf good. Me like leaf.

Maintain a constant state

of readiness...

What did he do, sit in an anthill?

Look at him.

And then, when

the rescue helicopter appears, make sure...


it's right above your head!

Jeez. Shake it, Pops.

He's got a nice ass for a sailor,

I'll tell you that.

I don't mean that in a weird way.

God bless America.


Are you a smart soldier?

I mean, I just thought we'd be assisting

some South Vietnamese generals

against a few infiltrators. Whole thing

would be done in three, four weeks.

You picked the wrong time

- to enlist, Dengler.

- I know.

No, but I just wanted to fly so badly,

and everybody, they were telling me

all about the fantastic massage parlors

and the go-go girls, everything, and...

And what did I get?

Goddamn one night?

- One night in Saigon. That's me.

- Yeah, and that didn't go so well.

Gentlemen, next please.


Hey, are there any mosquito nets?

What you see is what you get.

- Okay. Okay. I see plastic.

- Yes, sir.

I see plastic there and how about...

Are you able to give me two slices

of that plastic, please?

- Sir?

- And maybe six foot by three foot,

you put a zipper in the middle,

- and I crawl inside...

- What you're describing

is a sauna, not a mosquito net.

Not a mosquito net,

but it holds off the bugs.

And you put some netting on it

so I can breathe through at night time.

- You got it, sir.

- Yes?

- Absolutely, sir.

- Okay.

Now, look here. Look at this.

I have my boot on your table.

- Why do I have my boot on your table?

- I don't know, sir.

Okay, this is why. Look at this.

Can you create a flap for me

in the tongue here

so I could hide my American passport

inside of here should I need it?

You know what, sir? Since you're my only

customer today, it would be my pleasure.

Thank you.

So, Charlie got his sh*t together.

Now we have heavy antiaircraft fire

around Mugia Pass.

Change direction and altitude

every seven seconds

so the radar of the enemy gun

cannot lock onto you.

Your secondary target will be

the intersection of 121 and 90.

That's the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

That's right, Spook, inside Laos.

Now, one more thing.

They've been using your radios

to lure our rescue teams into ambush.

Now, don't get me wrong.

You go down, you use that radio.

But if they're hot on your trail,

you scrap it.

You scrap anything

that they can use against you.

Now, this is Flight Lieutenant Dengler's

first mission.

Yes, sir.


You're gonna be Spook's

wingman. You think you can handle that?

I could not ask for a better man, sir.

But, please,

- could I ask you a question, sir?

Go ahead.

You know, Spook is such

a goddamn daredevil,

could you please order him not to

try too hard to die for his country,

but rather to let the son-of-a-b*tch

on the other side die for his instead?

Okay. All right, boys.

- You all set?

Yes, sir.

Anything else?

No, sir.

- Okay. Let's go, go, go!

Radar Kilo, 6195, position four.

Radar Yankee, 67279,

position two.

- Heads against the wall. Come on.

- Come on, Diet.

Come here.

This is what we would do as kids

when we were out for mischief.

It would keep us out of trouble.

But we would usually pee right now.

- Can we pee?

- I don't really have to.

I'm not gonna.

But this will keep us safe. Okay, fellas?

Stay out of trouble.

Come back in one piece. Good luck.

- Come back, boys.

- You, too.


Boys, get set to change

the altitude again. On my mark.

- Now.

- Roger.

Gentlemen, do you notice

the coastline down there?

Welcome to North Vietnam.

It's pretty boring.

Boys, we got too much

cloud cover.

Climbing again 280 west.

We're heading into Laos.

Target in sight.

Lessard, roll in.


Farkas, roll in.


Dengler, roll in.

Rolling in.

I'm hit. I'm hit!

Dieter, you're losing altitude!

Pull it up!

Dieter, pull up!

Dengler, get out of there!

Dieter, bail out!

Dieter, bail out!

I'm not gonna bail out!

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Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog (German: [ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈhɛɐ̯tsoːk]; born 5 September 1942) is a German screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director. Herzog is a figure of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. Herzog's films often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature.French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." He was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2009. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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