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Rescue Dawn (2007)Rescue Dawn (2007)

In 1997 Werner Herzog made a documentary of the story of Dieter Dengler (1938–2001) called Little Dieter Needs to Fly. This time around he dramatizes one of the greatest ever survivor's tales. Dengler was 18 when he left his home in Germany for the states with one mission in mind, to fly for the American military. On February 1, 1966 he took enemy fire and crash-landed his plane in Laos while on a secret mission. After surviving in the jungle on his own he was captured and tortured (hanging upside down with an ant nest around his neck, submerged in a well, dragged by an ox through a village), then taken to the Pathet Lao prison camp. There he met other POWS, then escaped after they overheard the guards say they planned to shoot them. The fellow POWS were separated after the escape, and Dengler and his buddy Duane Martin teamed up. Martin was eventually beheaded by villagers, but Dengler was rescued after improbably surviving the dense jungle. Dengler tells his tale in his own words in the book Escape from Laos (1979).

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