Rescue Dawn

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(2006) ★★★

Sky Movies Select: Wednesday 4 November, 5.50pm

Fearless Dark Knight star Christian Bale repeats the dangerous weight loss he affected for The Machinist to look scarily gaunt in Werner Herzog’s dramatisation of his 1997 prisoner-of-war documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Dieter Dengler is a German-born US pilot shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. His story is harrowing, and Bale’s commitment to it is a little scary.

For starters, the can-do Dieter smiles more than anyone in his plight has a right to. A useful antidote to Rambo’s jungle romps, perhaps, but it somehow seems slightly insignificant after Herzog’s previous expeditions in the company of Klaus Kinski’s Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre. As Mark Twain once said: “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.”

There are more famous Vietnam movies on Sky Movies today, but none quite so odd as Herzog’s. Stanley Kubrick’s cold-eyed Full Metal Jacket (1987) is at 8pm, Oliver Stone’s emotional Platoon (1986) at 10pm. Less highly thought of but no less stunning is Brian De Palma’s Casualties of War (1989), which wraps up Sky Movies Select’s southeast Asia tour at 12.05am. Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox star in one the most compelling of Hollywood’s forays into Vietnam. The story is serious yet still De Palma tells it in flamboyant fashion, its intensity heightened by Ennio Morricone’s mournful music.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 125min

IMDB – Rescue Dawn

TMDB – Rescue Dawn

Rotten Tomatoes – Rescue Dawn

Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Select Friday, 6 November at 9:00AM
Sky Movies Select Saturday, 7 November at 2:15AM
Sky Movies Select Friday, 13 November at 12:55AM