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124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This political thriller has its origins in an actual event - the disappearance of a young American writer and filmmaker, Charles Horman (John Shea), during a South American military coup. Jack Lemmon stars as Charles' father, Ed Horman, a prominent New York businessman, who comes to the aid of Charles' wife, Beth (Sissy Spacek), in her desperate search for her missing husband. They are led in circles, up blind alleys and are confronted with lies and false hopes from both U.S. and foreign officials. But they frantically trudge on together, overcoming their past differences until the painful, shattering conclusion.

Additional Features

Debuting on DVD on Universal Studio's budget Studio Selections line, this award-winning film deserves a better home-video fate. With no extras (not even a menu), the budget feel is certainly there, but the DVD does deliver a crisp widescreen presentation (along with 2.0 mono sound). Sometimes fancier--and more expensive--DVDs don't even deliver that much, so the complaining has to be kept to a minimum at this price. --Doug Thomas

Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, John Shea, Melanie Mayron, David Clennon
  • Directors: Costa-Gavras
  • Writers: Costa-Gavras, Donald Stewart
  • Producers: Edward Lewis, Mildred Lewis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00049QJ9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,506 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Missing" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Erik North on November 20, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Based on the true story of Charles Horman,a young American journalist who mysteriously vanished during Chile's 1973 coup and was later found dead, MISSING is an extremely well-constructed political drama--the first American film from Greek director Costa-Gavras (Z, STATE OF SIEGE).
John Shea portrays Charles Horman, who, while covering Chile with a friend (Melanie Mayron), disappears from view, causing his wife (Sissy Spacek) to ask for help from Shea's staunch "my country right or wrong" father Ed (Jack Lemmon). Lemmon openly disapproves of Shea's and Spacek's political views and staunchly supports the preservation of the American way of life. Unfortunately, his rose-colored view of his country slowly but surely come apart as he and Spacek, who are initially at considerable odds, unravel bit by bit important details. As one Chilean informant tells them, Shea disappeared because "he knew too much." He knew that thousands of innocent people were being murdered by the new Chilean government, a staunch right-wing one that ousted a far more Marxist regime led by Salvador Allende.
Eventually, MISSING comes to a point of increased sadness and anger, as Lemmon comes to realize that not only was Shea killed (in the national soccer stadium), but that his own government probably had a hand in doing it. The unfolding tragedy brings Lemmon and Spacek together in the end.
A very poignant and highly dramatic story, with a fine score by Vangelis, MISSING also boasts typically top-of-the-line performances by Lemmon and Spacek, who have never been anything less than watchable.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
My husband was born in Chile and his family moved to the US in 1975. His father was held for 3 years in one of the concentration camps. His mother made the children sleep under the beds out of fear from the soldiers. His father was one of the lucky ones to survive, not without the emotional scars to show for it. They have watched this movie and my husband and I own it. His parents have seen it only once, saying that they lived it, and can't bear to relive it. This movie is very real, and those things really happened. If you are at all interested in Chilean history, or civil rights, or if you are in the mood for an incredible movie, I highly suggest this film.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Don Van Nostrand on September 23, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, this review is based on the VHS version. I am trying to decide on what extras are included on the DVD before purchasing it.

This is one of the saddest movies I've ever seen. Its a story about disillusionment with ones government seen through the eyes of a father, Ed Hormann (Jack Lemmon) searching for his son, Charles Hormann, in the aftermath of the CIA sponsored overthrow of the Allende Government in Chile, 1972.

Helping him bridge the gap between his utopian view of the United States as promoter and savior of democracy and his son's leftward leaning, Vietnam War era generation view of the world is his daughter in law, Beth Hormann, (Sissy Spacek).

Throughout the ordeal of their search Jack Lemmons character has his eyes pried open to what is happening and he gains respect and admiration for the strength of his son and, especially, his daughter in law, where before existed only contempt at their choice of a "bohemian" lifestyle.

This is based on a true story and the story is continuing to unfold. With immunity being stripped from General Pinochet, many of the documents and witnesses surrounding the events leading up to the roundup and execution of these "leftists" are being brought to light and used against the former dictator in both criminal and civil suits; one of which is based on the events of this movie.

I highly recommend this movie as a human drama and as a historical reference. I can't imagine someone watching this movie and not doing a google search for the true story of these events. When I saw this movie during its general release I ran to the library to do research on the facts surrounding this sad chapter in US diplomacy.

If you do, we all keep Charles Hormann alive in some way.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Adam Mcdaniel on November 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Based on Thomas Hauser's book, "The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice", Costa Govras' MISSING caused a sensation when it was first released. Winner of the Palm D'Or, and nominated for a slew of Oscars, the film details the true events of Charles Horman, a 31 year old filmmaker and writer who, along with his wife, were living in Chile when the Allende government was overthrown in a bloody coup d'etat on (ironically) Sept. 11, 1973. Horman disappeared soon after, leaving his wife Joyce (named Beth in the movie) and father in a desperate search to find him amidst the tumultuous political terror of the Pinochet regime. Led in circles by incompetent US embassy and government officials, it becomes clear that the United States may very well have conspired in Horman's disappearance...

With the recent events of Pinochet's hopeful trial for crimes against humanity, and the obvious occupation of Iraq under the Bush administration, MISSING remains a political powerhouse. But the film also works on a very human level -- how a father comes to learn more about his son than he ever imagined, and the terrible knowledge that our country participated in the overthrow of one of the oldest Democratically-elected governments in favor of a tyrant who killed thousands of human beings.

Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek are at the top of their form, and Vangelis provides a simple, haunting score.

For more information on the Horman case, go to "The Charles Horman Truth Project" at [...] Also, I strongly recommend the book, "The Pinochet File" at
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