PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Biography
A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.
The film was shot in reverse continuity so Christian Bale, having worked hard to lose weight for the role, would appear the gauntest at the end, and then could simply gain the pounds back over the course of filming, working backwards through time so that when Bale returned to his average weight he would be filming his scenes as Dengler prior to being taken prisoner.
In 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 America's bombing of secret targets inside Laos.
During his captivity, Dieter is shown wearing his gold wedding band - it is generally regard as something no American pilot would do. However, on the DVD Walter Herzog explains a deleted scene where Dieter's ring is almost stolen. When the guards are transporting Dengler to prison they stop at a village. A man there threatens to kill Dieter unless he gives him his ring-a gift from his fiancée. When they leave the village Dieter tells the guards his ring was stolen and they return to the village. The guards cut off the villager's ring finger and return Dieter's ring to him. This is a factual event that haunted Dengler the rest of his life.
English, Lao, Vietnamese
$110,326 (USA) (8 July 2007)
$5,490,423 (USA) (28 July 2012)