Rescue Dawn is a 2006 American epic war drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted screenplay written from his 1997 documentary film Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film stars Christian Bale (BATMAN BEGINS, HOSTILES, PUBLIC ENEMIES), and is based on the true story of German-American pilot Dieter Dengler, who was shot down and captured by villagers sympathetic to the Pathet Lao during an American military campaign in the Vietnam War. Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Pat Healy, and Toby Huss also have principal roles.
The film project, which had initially come together during 2004, began shooting in Thailand in August 2005. In February 1966, while on a combat mission, Lt. Dieter Dengler, a German-born U.S. Navy pilot in squadron VA-145, flying from the carrier USS Ranger, is shot down in his Douglas A-1 Skyraider over Laos. He survives the crash, only to be captured by the Pathet Lao. Dengler is offered leniency by the province governor, if he will sign a document condemning America, but he refuses. Dengler is tortured and taken to a prison camp. There he meets his fellow prisoners: American pilots Gene DeBruin and Duane W. Martin, Y.C., Procet and Phisit, some of whom have been captives for years. © MGM. This project was completed under the name of Iconisus L&Y. It is part of the Iconisus portfolio. Dreamogram is a new separate entity and not a continuation of Iconisus.