June 12, 2007, - 11:03 am
By Debbie Schlussel
I have a good feeling about “Rescue Dawn.” It’s the movie I’m most excited to see, this summer. Although it is not getting the hype that blockbusters and pan-Islamist movies like Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt’s “A Mighty Heart” are getting, this one promises to be the best movie of the summer, and perhaps the year.
“Rescue Dawn” is the true story of the late German-American Navy pilot Dieter Dengler. The heroic Dengler flew in the Vietnam War, was shot down, and became a POW in Laos. But despite torture by his captors (who murdered many of his fellow POWs), he refused to sign documents denouncing the United States. Instead, he staged a daring and successful escape and then managed to survive the brutal Laotian jungle. Dengler is said to be the only American ever to escape a POW camp in the Laotian jungle. “Rescue Dawn” is the story of Dengler’s escape–and began as a documentary “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” directed by Werner Herzog, who directs this one, too. Dengler’s book, “Escape From Laos,” is a good one.
Despite his uber-leftism (his late father became a fish-bicycle, marrying Gloria Steinem), actor Christian Bale–who plays Dengler–is a great actor, and looks like he does not disappoint in this one. The movie debuts in some theaters on a most appropriate day, July 4th, with a nationwide roll-out the following week.
Dieter Dengler’s story is the story of a great American’s will to survive, while never betraying his country. I hope this movie gets the significant attention it deserves.
Sadly, Dieter Dengler died in 2001 of ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease at age 62. But his legend lives on. He earned a Purple Heart and the Navy Cross and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Read more about Dieter Dengler. And buy his book, “Escape from Laos.”
Tags: 4th of July, A Mighty Heart, actor, ALS, Angelina Jolie, Arlington National Cemetery, Christian Bale, Debbie Schlussel, Dieter Dengler, Dieter Dengler Upon, Dieter Needs to Fly, German-American Navy, Gloria Steinem, great actor, I'm, Laos, Laotian jungle, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Looking Forward, Lou Gehrig, Lou Gehrig's Disease, pilot, Rescue Dawn, United States, Werner Herzog