7.7/10
16,988
97 user 71 critic

Missing (1982)

When an idealistic American writer disappears during the Chilean coup d'état in September 1973, his wife and father try to find him.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Costa-Gavras (screenplay), Donald E. Stewart (screenplay) (as Donald Stewart) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Ed Horman
Sissy Spacek ... Beth Horman
Melanie Mayron ... Terry Simon
John Shea ... Charles Horman
Charles Cioffi ... Captain Ray Tower
David Clennon ... Consul Phil Putnam
Richard Venture Richard Venture ... U.S. Ambassador
Jerry Hardin ... Colonel Sean Patrick
Richard Bradford ... Andrew Babcock
Joe Regalbuto ... Frank Teruggi
Keith Szarabajka ... David Holloway
John Doolittle ... Dave McGeary
Janice Rule ... Kate Newman
Ward Costello Ward Costello ... Congressman
Hansford Rowe ... Senator
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Charlie Horman thought that being an American would guarantee his safety. His family believed that being Americans would guarantee them the truth. They were all wrong.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

12 March 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desaparecido See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (magnetic tape PYRAL)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Pinochet dictatorship, this picture was banned in Chile. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Jack Lemmon is at the State Department early in the movie trying to get information about Charlie, there is the presidential portrait of Richard Nixon on the wall in the background and a more personal photo of him on Marine One on the credenza behind the desk. That photograph, with fingers in the V-peace sign, was taken upon his final departure from the White House in 1974 and could not have been on someone's desk in 1973. See more »

Quotes

Ed Horman: He, he seems so innocent. Almost deliberately naive.
Beth Horman: Is that so bad?
Ed Horman: Is that so good?
Beth Horman: You raised him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

My Ding a Ling
(1952)
Written by Chuck Berry (uncredited)
Performed by Chuck Berry
Courtesy of All Platinum Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Earlier 9/11
12 September 2006 | by oyasonSee all my reviews

Costa Govras' political thriller MISSING remains one of the strongest and least preachy works done about the Chilean Coup d'etat of 1973. The coup, which occurred on the 11th of September of that year, was widely endorsed by the political elite of Chile, with some quiet infrastructural support from the U.S. State Department. The Secretary of State at that time, one Henry Kissinger, asserted to the Nixon cabinet that "he saw no reason to allow any country to go communist due to the ignorance of its people", and that the Chilean economy should be "made to scream". Hence, every support was given to the supporters of General Augusto Pinochet, and the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was deposed and defeated within days.

Govras chose as background for his film the actual diaries of Charles Horman, a lefty artist type who was living with his wife Beth in Chile. Horman had apparently picked up the unfortunate habit of inquiring into some dangerous affairs in a rather loud way. Isolated in every sense from any "live" political current, his disappearance and murder were relatively easy to accomplish, even though he was a United States citizen. The actor John Shea portrays Charles Horman as a naive sort, and there is no reason to assume this was an inaccurate depiction. Most citizens of the United States overseas are sheltered from the skulduggery of realpolitik, and most cling to some rather dangerous illusions about how far their rights as citizens actually extend. U.S. citizens in Lebanon who had to pay for their removal from that combat front last summer have learned this the hard way recently.

Jack Lemmon is stellar as Charles' father Ed Horman, who made the trip to Chile under the impression that he had rights his government felt bound to respect, and who discovered otherwise. And Cissy Spacek is never anything less than full marks as Beth Horman.

MISSING accomplishes what few political dramas do. It asks its viewer to consider the human dimensions and costs of an imperial political reality, and it portrays with a deadly earnestness what these ideas do to people caught up in the sway of such notions. There are no monsters in MISSING, just people who are doing their jobs and following orders. And therein lies the horror, one which all too many of our fellow citizens have yet to come to grips with. It is a rare feat among political films, an actual work of art. But don't be surprised if you need a stiff drink after viewing it. That's how I felt when I first saw this work after its release in 1982, and it still has that effect upon me today.


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