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Missing (The Criterion Collection)

Jack Lemmon , Sissy Spacek , Costa-Gavras    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Missing (The Criterion Collection) + Amen [Import] + Z (The Criterion Collection)
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Product Description


The peril facing a lone American amid Third World political turmoil is elegantly communicated in this important film from Costa-Gavras (Z), adapted by the director and Donald Stewart from Thomas Hauser's nonfiction book. The key to its power onscreen stems from the decision not to center the action merely on the disappearance of Charles Horman (John Shea), but also on the search for him by his father Ed (Jack Lemmon)--and on Ed's discovery of a son he never knew. The Oscar-winning script flows freely between that search and Charles's earlier experiences in the unnamed country (in the true account, Chile). Providing a link between those two stories is Charles's wife Beth (Sissy Spacek), who follows her father-in-law around a country in chaos, teeming with reckless authority and disinterested American diplomats (epitomized by ace character actor David Clennon). The film, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and won the Cannes Film Festival's top prize, is certainly manipulative, but it works because of its finely detailed human elements. Usually emotionally extroverted, Lemmon gives one of his finest performances playing against that type--here, he's a controlled, intellectual man who learns more about his son, and his country, than he ever dreamed he would. --Doug Thomas

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic look at a serious problem April 18 2001
Format:VHS Tape
As a young American who was not even born in the time when the actions in this film were taking place, this movie was one of my first real interactions with the subject matter. The performances of Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek take the audience on their characters' personal journeys which is a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss. It is a striking look at just what the American government may have been up to to try and protect its own interests. Costa-Gavras does a great job of showing the audience just what other possibilities exist and how you can't necessarily believe everything the government tells you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film is dead-on Oct. 6 1999
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Film! A Powerful Historical Statement! Aug. 11 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Constantin Costa-Gavros is one of my favorite directors and film makers. In 1982 he crossed into the main stream with the Hollywood backed "Missing." This is a film about the military coup, led by General Agusto Pinochet, and the violent overthrow of Chile's democratically elected President Salvador Allende's Popular Unity Government in 1973. The U.S. government, and the CIA, assisted the Chilean military in the coup. This is a terrible tale of the torture and murder of innocents, and the personal, true story of one of them, U.S. citizen Charles Horman. Horman was a gentle, kind young man with a love of writing and the arts.
Charles and his wife Beth, movingly portrayed by Sissy Spacek, were living in Chile, as were many foreigners at that time, to learn about the new socialist coalition government that had come together under Allende. There was much excitement and idealism in the air. Horman, after witnessing US government military and CIA officials in Valparaiso, Chile, was driven back to Santiago by an American stranger, during the first hours of the coup. He disappeared shortly after his return home. Not one member of his family, or his friends saw him alive again.
Charles Horman's father, brilliantly played by Jack Lemmon, traveled to Santiago immediately, and he and Beth began a long, terrifying and unrewarding search for the disappeared young man. Mr. Horman was very conservative politically, and disapproved of Charles' and Beth's move to Chile. He was a patriotic American who believed that the US government would certainly help him find his son. He slowly began to acknowledge the truth, with Beth leading the way, about the US Embassy's cover-ups and lies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! July 26 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This award winner movie is a masterpiece.It is the ture story of Charles Horman,US citizen, who disappeared days after a bloody coup d'etat in Chile during septemeber of 1973. Soon his wife realice that he has been arrested by the Chilean military.WIth charles's father they search for him in everywhere with the apparent help of the US officials working at the US embassy. The reality that they encounter on their search for charles reveals the cruelty of the militar dictatorship and the political game of manipulation that begun with the search for Charles.
Althought at the begining of the movie there is a warning saying that some names had been changed to protect the movie, the movie does a magnificent work to use names that are really close aproximation to the real ones. The movie also does a good job selecting the locations, the places certainly have similar characteristics to those that you could find in Chile back then, this gives the movie an authenticity flavor.Because this movie gives a loyal accounts of the facts it deserves five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb movie making about a very sensitive topic July 14 2002
By Derian
Format:VHS Tape
Costa-Gavras's "Missing" is compelling from beginning to end. The way the movie slowly unravels revealing the events that lead to the execution of Charles Horman, is exceptionally well done.
There is a great deal of suspense, which keeps the audience on the edge of its seat throughout, however, what makes "Missing" an unforgettable movie, is how the frightening experience of a coup was so well presented. The military's absolute control over the fate of many innocent civilians, produced a terrifying feeling. The atmosphere of the coup was handled with great care by the director.
Jack Lemmon's performance as Horman's conservative father was truly convincing and Sissy Spacek was equally brilliant. The changes that occurred in the relationship between the two characters as the plot developed, added great depth to the issues the movie was considering.
"Missing" is one of the most important moves made of this genre and is a must see for anyone wishing to understand the politics of this region.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing: Not to be Missed!
This film takes a serious topic which involves revolution, duplicity and love and manages under Costa-Gavras direction to explore every facet of these situations. Read more
Published 28 days ago by D. Ogle
5.0 out of 5 stars Close to taday's truth all over the world probably
On CBC I heard about the writer and producer of this movie. Even though the movie is old, I remember the actual events. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Micha
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film !!!
I really enjoyed this movie. Jack Lemmon is a very good actor and he proves it in this film.
Published on July 11 2011 by Richard D. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars American involvement in one of many corrupt regimes
Seeing this movie gives you a pretty good heads-up on what went on in Chile under Pinochet. Unfortunately, so many today who think of it as left-wing propaganda are the... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2008 by M. MacKinlay
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous, unbelievable and true.
I have looked at the cover of this video many times and then put it down again-not being very interested in South American history. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Account
This movie, although with a left-wing leaning, is a good account of Chilean recent history.
However I didn't like how it showed that high class chilean were with the... Read more
Published on July 7 2002 by Pablo Morales
4.0 out of 5 stars you mean this really happened?
Wasn't Kissinger and Nixon in power in the USA in September of 1973? This is a true story? Well that means that Kissinger really is a war criminal! Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2002 by Frank Werner
4.0 out of 5 stars you mean this really happened?
Wasn't Kissinger and Nixon in power in the USA in September of 1973? This is a true story? Well that means that Kissinger really is a war criminal! Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2002 by Frank Werner
4.0 out of 5 stars Caught in Political Intrigue
Greek director Costa-Gavras has made a specialty of selecting film projects with controversial political themes. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2002 by William Hare
5.0 out of 5 stars MISSING is left-wing propaganda? Not by a long shot!
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... Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001 by Erik North
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