Missing (1982)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Mystery  |  12 March 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,896 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 53 critic

When an idealistic writer disappears during the Right Wing military coup in 1973 Chile, his wife and American businessman father try to find him.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Horman
Charles Cioffi ...
Captain Ray Tower
Richard Venture ...
Colonel Sean Patrick
John Doolittle ...
Dave McGeary
Ward Costello ...


In September1973, in Chile, the American journalist Charles Horman arrives in Valparaiso with his friend Terry Simon to meet his wife Beth and bring her back to New York with him. However, they are surprised by the military coup d'état sponsored by the US Government to replace President Salvador Allende and Charles is arrested by the military force. His father Ed Horman, a conservative businessman from New York, arrives in Chile to seek out his missing son with Beth. He goes to the American Consulate to meet the Consul that promises the best efforts to find Charles while the skeptical Beth does not trust on the word of the American authorities. The nationalism and confidence of Ed in his government changes when he finds the truth about what happened with his beloved son. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Release Date:

12 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desaparecido  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


On October 8, 1999 a State Department memo from August 25, 1976 was declassified. It implicated that the CIA might at best had a direct role in motivating Pinochet's Government to murder Charles Horman and at worst was directly involved in his death. The memo had been released to Joyce Horman 20 years prior, but the information about the State Department's knowledge and involvement had been redacted. See more »


The opening credits roll on a shot of Charlie looking out on the street from the back seat of Capt. Tower's car. The window covers about half of his face, so it's a little more than halfway down. In the next shot showing the car, Charlie is still staring out the window (hasn't moved), but the window is most of the way down. See more »


Ed Horman: [voiceover] Ed Horman filed suit charging eleven government officials, including Henry A. Kissinger, with complicity and negligence in the death of his son. The body was not returned home until seven months later, making an accurate autopsy impossible. After years of litigation, the information necessary to prove or disprove complicity remained classified as secrets of state. The suit was dismissed.
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References The Cocoanuts (1929) See more »


Written by Arthur Altman (uncredited) and Jack Lawrence (uncredited)
Performed by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra (as Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra)
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Another side of Jack Lemmon.
5 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

Simply,Costa-Gavras's American movies (this one,Betrayed(1987) and "music box" (1990))are better than his French works(compartiments tueurs(1965),Z(1969),l'aveu(1970),etc).Whatever you may think of "Z",the art of Costa -Gavras is efficient but a bit cold and deprived of emotion.This is a perfect dissection of a political assassination,complete with investigation and suspense.But the characters are reduced to stereotypes,particularly when they are played by overrated Yves Montand.

In his American works,while continuing his militant way,Costa-Gavras puts men and women made of flesh and blood on the screen:Jack Lemmon,who made us laugh so many times in Billy Wilder's masterpieces("some like it hot" "kiss me stupid" "the apartment",the highly underrated "Avanti"),shines in his dramatic part;his portrayal of an all-American man,proud of his country,who cannot really understand the evolution of the new generations but who knows that he's got only one son,whom he might never see again,is mind-boggling:his tired and sad face,always seeming on the verge of tears ,mainly in the second half of the movie which contains two classic scenes:

-The first one takes place in the stadium,where the prisoners are gathered;he's given a mike ,but a lump comes to his throat and he hands it to Sissi Spacek -who plays (with talent) the missing son's wife -;In the giant stadium,no echoes ,even when Lemmon,in a desperate call,asks his son to come home.

-The second one takes place in some kind of morgue,where dead bodies pile up.The wife and the father really go to hell,in this almost unbearable scene.

The Putsch (Costa-Gavras takes the American intervention for granted whereas there's nothing that proves it)takes a back seat to the desperate couple's plight.

Costa-Gavras has not completely forsaken France though:the book Spacek and Shea are reading is none other than Saint-Exupery's "le petit prince".

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