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Rescue Dawn [Blu-ray] (2007)

Christian Bale , Steve Zahn , Werner Herzog  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Rescue Dawn [Blu-ray] + Machinist, The [Blu-ray] + The Prestige [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WMA6QO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rescue Dawn [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Real-life story of a US fighter pilot Dengler, shot down and captured during the Vietnam War. Christian Bale as Dengler, plans a death-defying escape.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'If it is full, empty it. If it is empty, fill it.' November 23, 2007
So speaks Dieter Dengler when asked for comment at the end of his journey of jungle captivity in Laos. RESCUE DAWN is as much about the courage and fortitude of a captured soldier during wartime as it is about a true incident. From the inherent optimism of pilot Dieter Dengler (played with commitment and finesse by Christian Bale) the story transcends biopic and offers lessons for life in general; the human spirit can be indefatigable.

Writer/director Werner Herzog has expanded his 1997 documentary about Dieter Dengler and in doing so he has provided us entry into the psyches of soldiers captured by the enemy and the extraordinarily trying conditions in which they survive. The optimistic and eager Dengler is sent on a classified mission to bomb certain targets in Laos in 1965 with his fellow pilots including his best friend Spook (Toby Huss). Denlger is shot down and captured, interrogated, tortured, and placed in a prison with fellow inmates Duane (Steve Zahn in a career changing superb performance), Gene (the emaciated and excellent Jeremy Davies), Phisit (Abhijati 'Meuk' Jusakul), and Procet (Lek Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat). The living conditions are deplorable: the men are starved, chained together making even the possibility of caring for bodily functions negligible, and the moral is low. Dengler changes that using his ingenuity and immediately plans for escape. Duane aids Dengler but Gene fears the consequences of an aborted escape attempt. Yet with Dengler's expertise and cunning the escape into the jungle is planned and is essentially successful - until the other enemy (the jungle) reduces the forces to one. As Dengler is rescued he is left with the ghosts of his fellow inmates, a factor that will haunt him and alter his life after rescue.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rescue Dawn - War Drama Based on a Real POW December 17, 2007
Rescue Dawn is unique among war films. It's not the fast paced action thriller of so many fictionalized war movies, yet it offers the story of a real man told tastefully through suspense and drama. For those looking for graphic battle gore, this isn't the movie for you. If you can take the time to study and appreciate how a horrendous situation can impact a man's thoughts and identity, you will find a lot to learn from here.

Christian Bale plays Dieter Dengler, a pilot shot down at the onset of the Vietnam War in neighboring Laos. He miraculously survives the crash and has to contend with his capture and reeducation by his communist captors. He is eventually taken to a camp where there are other Americans. The rest of the plot, while long, is best experienced without an outline.

Bale's acting is great. The supporting cast is equally as impressive, especially Steve Zahn as Duane and Jeremy Davies as Gene. The lush rain-forest is also a character in this movie, and the cinematography beautifully captures one of the world's most awe-inspiring and dangerous places.

The story was previously told in Werner Herzog's documentary, "Little Dieter Needs to Fly." Little Dieter Needs to Fly The script is nicely written, but much of it still comes across as a documentary. The director uses suspense and time to convey the anxiety of the situation. That's part of the reason wider film audiences are turned off or left wanting more.

I suspect that this movie would have had more visual impact in theatres. Unfortunately, it never reached wide theatrical release in the USA. The closest viewing most of us can have is to try to see the Blu-Ray version, which is visually stunning.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you want nonstop action, go elsewhere... November 25, 2007
I decided to pick up Rescue Dawn on Blu-ray as a blind buy after reading so many positive reviews of the film. Overall, I was not disappointed!

First off, trailers for the DVD on television will make the movie appear to be packed with action. It's not. It's a character driven drama more than anything else, so if that's not what you're looking for go snatch up Die Hard 4 (another great movie). What I found truly compelling is that you could see the characters' actual physical and mental changes throughout the story - especially Christian Bale's - and thus feel more emotionally attached to the characters and their fates. Aside from the story itself, the movie looks beautiful in high definition (lots of lush green jungle scenes) and is very tastefully shot. The sound is quite nice, too, although I don't have an audio rig capable of playing the DTS-HD soundtrack.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to fans of drama or war movies.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars howdy November 29, 2007
A very good movie.
unlike any war, vietnam, or prisoner of war story i can remember watching or reading.
it is the story of Dieter Dengler, the only US Navy pilot to escape from the Pathet Lao.

The story is a contrast of opposing ways of looking at both the world and yourself.
Dengler's vs. two other prisoners in the camp, one of resignation, the other one an outward optimism (rescue will come before the rainy season starts), but really another form of resignation and pessimism (because it isn't joined to action but to waiting).

What i find extraordinary is not the survival of people in such awful conditions, but how a single person, sustaining what really is an absurd optimism can uplift and motivate the whole group.

I think this is the message that the director wishes people to take home, optimism maybe misplaced, but without it hope flees. It is better to be an out of place foolish optimist then to resign yourself to your surroundings and give up.

It is an extraordinary message and it is provided to us in the movie with forcefulness and with a subdued passion for life that really ought to rub off on each viewer as she/he looks at their lives and says "things really aren't that bad", "i just need to get moving in the right direction", "with the right attitude-like Dengler's".

Where do people like this come from?
How do they sustain their optimism in situations that destroy other people?
If i can't be that person, how do i get to meet one and learn from watching them?

It is a worthwhile to own movie, i can only imagine what Dengler was like in person from watching the movie, i've never personally met anyone quite like him.
so i'm glad i "met" him in the movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Must See For Herzogeans...
Christian Bale is one of my pet peeves. But Herzog's touch makes its bearable. I would, however, first and foremost make the documentary of the same story ("Little Dieter Needs... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Alexander C. Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Another great film w Christian Bale- a true story written during the Vietnam war. Great film writing. Watched it twice.
Published 16 days ago by Bright spot
3.0 out of 5 stars Meet Dieter Dengler, US Pilot and Elton J Brand, NBA-star/Producer!
Directed by: German Dir. Werner Herzog, who was familiar with
Dengler, who grew up in germany during the war and his family home
bombed in the black forest area. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Rich The Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a guy and a what a will to live. great movie.
What a testament to the human spirit and will to survive. Love our military and thankful for their sacrifice. God Bless America!
Published 27 days ago by private
2.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously Awful
Steve Zahn saved this from a 1 star review. He was spectacular! Bale was annoying to the extreme, and his actions repeatedly rang unbelievable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars The characters are everything in this movie!
This is not your typical blood and guts story and as I researched later about this event, there are some separations from the truth. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Holmes
4.0 out of 5 stars Dieter Dengler lives in Christian Bale
Rescue Dawn is the movie version of the Dieter Dengler story. The movie pretty much follows the Dieter Dengler documentary. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William P. Freeman
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay movie
It was an okay movie. This type of movie about Vietnam and soldiers has played out so many times, one could guess the outcome.
Published 3 months ago by Craig Neading
3.0 out of 5 stars Rescue Dawn
I would rate this movie higher, I enjoyed watching it, but after doing some research into the actual background of this event and learning about the real men involved, I found many... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gary Grimme
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr Herzog directs yet another Hollywood style war movie
Based on a true story, I found it to be a depressing, two dimensional piece of film making. A surprise given the director is Werner Herzog. Read more
Published 3 months ago by "Belgo Geordie"
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