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The Missing Person (2009)

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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,114 users   Metascore: 57/100
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Private detective John Rosow is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Rosow gradually uncovers the man's identity as a missing person; one of the thousands presumed ... See full summary »



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Title: The Missing Person (2009)

The Missing Person (2009) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Rosow
Harold Fullmer
Miss Charley
Mrs. Fullmer
Hero Furillo
Lana Cobb
Gus Papitos
Don Edgar
Drexler Hewitt
Kate Arrington ...
Jane Rosow
Anthony Esposito ...
Javier Reyes
Agent Chambers
Agent Craig
Mabel Page
L.A. Cop


Private detective John Rosow is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Rosow gradually uncovers the man's identity as a missing person; one of the thousands presumed dead after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Persuaded by a large reward, Rosow is charged with bringing the missing person back to his wife in New York City. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


John Rosow is a private investigator. And an alcoholic. He just got the case of his life.



Official Sites:




Release Date:

3 December 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Missing Person  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,715 (USA) (20 November 2009)


$17,580 (USA) (19 February 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


When the train pulls into what's supposed to be Union Station, Los Angeles, the platform is really in Downtown San Diego. John Rosow is next seen in front of Union Station which is 120 miles away by air. Previously, when he boarded the train (the California Zephyr) in Chicago, the same San Diego platform (including the trunk of a palm tree) can be seen briefly through the window. The California Zephyr does not go to either San Diego or LA. It terminates in Emeryville. See more »


[first lines]
John Rosow: I could lie there forever. But the phone rang.
John Rosow: Hello?
[still ringing]
See more »


References Serpico (1973) See more »


Night Of The Hunter
Written and Performed by Young People
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A Mood Piece That Uses Old Techniques to Tell a Modern Story
8 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer/Director Noah Buschel is a name we will likely recognize more as audiences who missed the theater release of this very quiet moody piece discover it on DVD. In many way this story and cinematic recreation of the story reminds us of the old dark Bogart mysteries - in tone of telling, in filming gestures, and in the casting. It is a true 'film noir' revealed slowly and insidiously in tones of umber, gray, and washed out colors so prevalent in the early color films and so additive to this production. For this viewer it works on every level.

Private Detective John Rosow (Michael Shannon in a brilliantly understated performance) is a down and out, alcoholic, internalized and bruised man who is hired to shadow a man from Chicago to Los Angeles. Rosow seems to be easily manipulated by his 'boss' Gus (Papitos) and sidekick Charley (Amy Ryan), but when Rosow reaches Los Angeles he discovers that the man he is trailing - Harold Fulmer (Frank Wood) - is delivering a young Mexican boy to one Don Edgar (Yul Vasquez) who seems to be running an orphanage for lost kids to either sell to adopting parents or manipulate otherwise. He is sidetracked by an agent Lana Cobb (Margaret Colin) but with the help of a taxi driver Hero (John Ventimiglia) he finally finds his targeted Harold who insists that he is a lost man, a man who only wants to remain missing to help people like the young Mexican who was an unwanted boy to find some degree of happiness. Rosow reports his findings, and surprisingly is told that Harold wife Megan (Linda Emond) will pay a huge sum of money just to retrieve her missing husband. It seems Harold has been missing since 9/11, but instead of dying in that explosion Harold escaped and decided the world needed help- the only way he felt he could deliver it was to leave behind his wealthy wife and lifestyle and simply do good, anonymous deeds. Rosow meets with Megan, gets the money, but in doing so Rosow must relive the fact that he has lost his wife and world as a result of 9/11, changing his priorities of how to end his assignment: does he turn over Harold and take the small fortune or does he follow his heart? He does the right thing.

Though the story is a strongly told mystery thriller it is first and foremost a story about the loss and disorientation that have paralyzed so many people following 9/11. The beauty of THE MISSING PERSON is the message that in many ways we are all 'missing persons' now. How we elect to deal with that is the part of the story we individually must complete. Michael Shannon enters the ranks of significant film actors with this deeply touching role. This is a little film that deserves a very wide audience.

Grady Harp

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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