—— The Identical Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
74% God Help the Girl Sep 05
—— The Remaining Sep 05

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $16.3M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $11.8M
38% If I Stay $9.3M
33% As Above/So Below $8.3M
21% Let's Be Cops $8.2M
36% The November Man $7.7M
18% When The Game Stands Tall $5.6M
32% The Giver $5.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $4.6M
34% The Expendables 3 $3.5M

Coming Soon

—— No Good Deed Sep 12
—— Dolphin Tale 2 Sep 12
—— Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? Sep 12
100% The Skeleton Twins Sep 12
100% The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Sep 12

Premieres Tonight

25% Houdini: Season 1

New Episodes Tonight

—— Anger Management: Season 2
71% Dallas: Season 3
—— Mistresses: Season 2
25% Partners: Season 1
67% Teen Wolf: Season 4
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Breathless: Season One
100% Falling Skies: Season 4
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
78% Ray Donovan: Season 2
46% Reckless: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
—— Unforgettable: Season 2

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1998)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 3,697

My Rating

Movie Info

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



Werner Herzog

Aug 6, 2002

Watch It Now


Latest News on Little Dieter Needs to Fly

September 9, 2006:
TORONTO: Herzog's "Rescue Dawn" Kicks Off Market On the Road to Oscar
MGM made the first major pick-up Saturday at this year's Toronto International Film Festival,...
July 21, 2005:
Bale and Zahn Come to Herzog's "Rescue"
Christian Bale and Steve Zahn will star in Werner Herzog's adventure tale "Rescue Dawn,"...


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1) | DVD (12)

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.

February 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As often happens in Mr. Herzog's haunting documentaries, the most interesting figure seems to be the one behind the camera.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stunning tale of survival.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

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.

June 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A compassionate and personal story of the brutality and oddity of war

December 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Dengler is a marvelous storyteller and opens his heart and soul for Herzog without hesitation.

September 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Death did not want Dieter Dengler, whose life often sounds like that of a fairy tale character thrust into an existential wonderland.

February 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Herzog has likened Dengler's experience to a Greek tragedy, involving dreams, punishment and redemption.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

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.

April 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Little Dieter Needs to Fly

A fantastic documentary by the master of cinema, Werner Herzog. It?s an honest, unbelievable and amazing story told by Dieter himself. A must see film alongside Rescue Dawn, it?s just brilliant!
October 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

A documentary about a pilot's survival against the odds after being shot down in the Vietnam War. Dieter Dengler's origins in war-torn Germany and his subsequent embrace of the American Dream make his story all the more fascinating. I was worried it was going to turn a bit self-indulgent when Dengler started re-enacting his ordeal in the jungle, but it managed not to. Though he looks remarkably fit and well here, Dengler died of motor neurone disease only four years after this film.
November 14, 2007

Super Reviewer

Effortlessly compelling true story of US-German POW.
July 9, 2007

Super Reviewer

An absolute must-see for those who liked Rescue Dawn as it tells the same story - but right from the mouth of Dengler. It's shocking to hear what he went through. It's also a Herzog documentary and therefore obviously brilliant.
November 27, 2010

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Little Dieter Needs to Fly

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Little Dieter Needs to Fly on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

November Man is Slick, Convoluted

Total Recall
Total Recall

Pierce Brosnan's 10 Best Movies

Mindy Project
Mindy Project

Get caught up on the comedy

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

See pictures from this week's premieres

Foreign Titles

  • Petit Dieter doit voler (FR)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile