Little Dieter Needs to Fly
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Little Dieter Needs to Fly
While growing up in desolated post-WW II Germany, all Dieter Dengler, the son of a Nazi slain during the war, dreamed about was becoming a pilot. At age 18, he left his country with only a few cents to his name and emigrated to the U.S. Landing in San Francisco, he worked odd jobs until he was accepted into the Navy and began pilot training. He was sent to Vietnam around 1966 and on his first mission was shot down and taken prisoner. There, the Vietcong tortured and starved him until Dengler engineered a hair-raising escape and eventually returned to the U.S. where his heroic life story has… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Werner Herzog's remarkable docu tells with sharp observation and witty humor the heroic tale of the imprisonment and escape of Dieter Dengler, a native German who became an American pilot in the Vietnam War; Dengler exudes plenty of charisma."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"As often happens in Mr. Herzog's haunting documentaries, the most interesting figure seems to be the one behind the camera."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A compassionate and personal story of the brutality and oddity of war"
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Herzog has likened Dengler's experience to a Greek tragedy, involving dreams, punishment and redemption."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Examiner
"Little Dieter -- just slightly out of the realm of the ordinary -- but not enough to stand among the remarkable, mystical works that Herzog has delivered in the past."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"A stunning tale of survival."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Dengler is a marvelous storyteller and opens his heart and soul for Herzog without hesitation."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"There are a lot of current motion pictures that have had difficulty creating even one compelling character. Little Dieter Needs to Fly has just one subject, but his life could make several interesting movies."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Herzog starts with a balding middle-aged man driving down a country lane in a convertible, and listens, questions and shapes, until the life experience of Dieter Dengler becomes unforgettable."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A summation of the director's work in so many ways that one is tempted to point the neophyte to it ahead of better-known Herzogs."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"Death did not want Dieter Dengler, whose life often sounds like that of a fairy tale character thrust into an existential wonderland."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Little Dieter Needs to Fly on Rotten Tomatoes

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