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State of Siege (1972)

État de siège (original title)
In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »



, (original scenario) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Michael Santore
Captain Lopez
Carlos Ducas
Jacques Weber ...
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Maurice Teynac ...
Minister of Internal Security
Yvette Etiévant ...
Woman Senator
Evangeline Peterson ...
Mrs. Santore
Harald Wolff ...
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Nemesio Antúnez ...
President of the Republic
Mario Montilles ...
André Falcon ...
Deputy Fabbri
Jerry Brouer ...
Anthony Lee
Roberto Navarrete ...
Commissioner Romero
Douglas Harris ...
A.I.D. Director


In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by a group of urban guerillas. Using his interrogation as a backdrop, the film explores the often brutal consequences of the struggle between Uruguay's government and the leftist Tupamaro guerillas. Written by Erich Schneider <erich@alumni.caltech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 February 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

State of Siege  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ironically, the film was released a year before Chile witnessed its own violent military coup against the then favored and democratically elected President Salvador Allende by military commander Augusto Pinochet. See more »


The film constantly alludes to the U.S. official's previous postings in "Brazil and Santo Domingo," and the flashback to the police academy even shows the delegate sitting next to a sign reading "Santo Domingo" along with those of other countries. But Santo Domingo is not a country, it is the capital of the Dominican Republic. See more »


Featured in The Dancer Upstairs (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A great film!
18 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I agree that this film should be released on DVD. It is a great companion piece to Z and Missing.

Costa-Gavros managed to produce a stinging indictment of US involvement in South American politics, without drawing his villains as caricatures. His characters, policemen and revolutionaries, come off as profoundly human, flawed but not themselves monsters, though they are involved in monstrous acts. The torture scenes are grueling, and were probably as responsible for the film's official reception.

I saw this at the age of 15, when it was in the theaters. I confused it with the Eric Ambler novel of the same name. It had a profound personal influence on me. I was able to rent it once, about 15 years ago but haven't run across it since.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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