Killing Fields, The (1984, Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor)

The Killing Fields

Based on the memoirs of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg, true-life drama The Killing Fields retells the personal and professional relationship between Schanberg (Sam Waterston) and his Cambodian friend and translator, Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor).

When America withdraws from Vietnam, Schanberg encourages Pran to stay and assist him in Cambodia instead of evacuating with the Americans. Later, Pran is taken by the Khmer Rouge and Schanberg, who can do nothing to help him, returns to the States where he continues to try to locate and free his friend.

The Killing Fields marks an exceptional film debut. Actor Haing S. Ngor was a Cambodian doctor who was imprisoned and tortured by the Khmer Rouge. After seeking refuge in the U.S., filmmakers hired him to portray Dith Pran despite his lack of acting experience. His film debut earned him an Oscar.

Academy Award nominations in seven categories, winning for Best Supporting Actor (Haing S. Ngor), Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Cast: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, Spalding Gray, John Malkovich, Craig T. Nelson, Bill Paterson, Julian Sands,

Director: Roland Joffe
Producer: David Puttnam
Director of Photography: Chris Menges
Editor: Jim Clark
Composer: Mike Oldfield
Screenwriter: Bruce Robinson
Production Designer: Roy Walker

141 minutes / 1984

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