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Little Dieter needs to Fly

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired the New Film RESCUE DAWN starring Chirstian Bale (Batman Begins), Steve Zahn (Sahara), Jeremy Davies (Secretary) in theaters December 1, 2006. Directed by Werner Herzog


"Unforgettable...Astonishing" -- Roger Ebert

Special Features

  • Werner Herzog Bio

Product Details

  • Actors: Eugene Deatrick, Dieter Dengler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2002
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059PPO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Dieter needs to Fly" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
More than anything else, Werner Herzog is drawn to extremes of passion and intensity, situations where people are pushed to the breaking point. In the unforgettable Fitzcarraldo, he showed us a protagonist so consumed by his vision he seemed capable of anything. (Herzog demonstrated this same quality during the production of that masterpiece.) Grizzly Man introduced us to the demented and delusional Timothy Treadwell, whose "suicide by bear" provided a cautionary tale about hubris and narcissism. Although also a documentary, Little Dieter Needs To Fly is very different from, and superior to, Grizzly Man. Indeed, the men are almost polar opposites. Treadwell is annoying, insane, and ego-driven. Dengler, by contrast, has achieved something almost inconceivable and yet retains a charming modesty, candor, and matter-of-fact view of himself and his life.

To be fair, LDNTF paints on a much larger canvas than GM. From the ragged end of WWII in Germany, where Dieter first becomes fixated on flight, to the late 60s bombing of Vietnam, Dengler's life is caught up in the sweep of history. He speaks without passion of stripping wallpaper from bombed buildings, boiling it, and eating the glue. Like so many others, at 18 he took his dream to the U.S. and, after much determined hard work, became a citizen, a college graduate, and a Navy pilot. Herzog secured superb documentary footage throughout, which is carefully pieced together with bridges of Dengler speaking. The film flows seamlessly, music is used exceptionally well, and Herzog does not push an agenda - he is simply telling a man's story, or, more properly, letting him tell it.

To say Dengler led an astonishing life doesn't do it justice. His plane was shot down over Laos, miraculously he survived the crash.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
A wonderfully rendered documentary by Werner Herzog, chronicling the little known story of a man who Death did not want. This is an amazing tale of survival, against the most impossible of odds!

Dieter Dengler grew up in Post WW II Germany under the most horrid conditions and hardships, which shaped him and hardened him for the troubles that lay ahead. Forced to boil old wallpaper for the nutrients it held, and later interned to a clockmaker who would force him to work long hours, beating him when he made mistakes, Dengler seems strangely unjaded by his experiences.

As soon as he could, Dengler immigrated to the United States where he enrolled in the Navy as a pilot, and was soon flying missions over Laos and Vietnam.

This is a survivor's story. This is the story of a man's indomitable spirit, and the unquenchable will to survive. You will watch this film and be amazed, changed, and come to glimpse the incredible power of the human will to not only survive, but overcome and thrive!
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Format: DVD
This is a well produced documentary on the life of US Naval Aviator, Lt. Dieter Dengler during the Viet Nam War. I ordered this DVD because I knew of him when I was a Yeoman in the US Navy. One of my duty stations was at the Naval Annex in Arlington, VA. near the Pentagon. My office kept track of Naval Jr. officers in the aviation branch, during Viet Nam. It was a joyful day, when I was able to move Lt. Dengler's card from the POW file back into the active duty aviator file, when I heard of his escape from prison camp there. Now I get to see the late Lt. Dengler and hear his personal recollections and his miracle escape. He was a highlight to me during my service in the USN. A must see DVD, of a brave American warrior.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Werner Herzogs's War documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, is an interview with a provocative background of film imagery. The subject is the German-American pilot, Dieter Dengler, and his experience as a prisoner of war in the jungles of Vietnam that he explains was like that of being in a dream.

And German filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has crafted a film-retelling of Dieter's story that suggests the presence of Dieter's subconscious world of dreams. The documentary looks naturalistic, in that parts of the documentary include authentic film footage from the Vietnam conflict and much of the interview is filmed in the actual jungle setting of Vietnam and Dieter's captivity is re-enacted with real Vietnamese people who play along as his tormentors. But artistically, Herzog's film makes the natural world into an abstract and challenges our perceptions of reality.

The Vietnamese folk music is juxtaposed against images of villages being napalm-bombed. The singing voice, in the context of Dieter's experience that he called an "abstract world" becomes an angry, buzzing sound, as if Dieter's memory and narrative are unable to process his deepest nightmares.

Herzog's film images and sounds are linked organically to the story, but his techniques assert that reality exists below the surface of rational thought. Film images of a hungry bear and a corpse-like dummy pilot become metaphors for death that function as instruments of film poetry. The hungry bear that pursued him, Dieter believed, represented death, which he says, intended to eat him. The U.S.
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