Missing (The Criterion Collection)
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Missing (The Criterion Collection)
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
"Missing" has renewed significance now, twenty years after it was released,with increasing concern about General Auguste Pinochet, the Chilean strongman who came to power in a bloody coup in which the nation's elected president, Salvador Allende, was killed. Recent efforts have been ongoing to try Pinochet as a war criminal, initially in Britain, and now in Chile. Just last year the widow of the young American slain in the film filed a civil suit against Pinochet, while during the period of the movie's initial release the U.S. Ambassador to Chile at the time of the coup filed a suit in connection with the film. Certain investigative efforts have linked the Central Intelligence Agency and International Telephone and Telegraph to the coup. Meanwhile the Belgian government, which has investigated activities surrounding the coup, is seeking to talk to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Jack Lemmon plays the role of a New York City man who is conservative politically and a teetotaling practitioner of Christian Science. His liberal, free-spirited son, who is seeking a career as a writer, has stopped in Chile while on tour of South America with his equally free-spirited wife, Sissy Spacek.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished 23 months ago by LKguy
On CBC I heard about the writer and producer of this movie. Even though the movie is old, I remember the actual events. Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2013 by Micha
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
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 morePublished on Oct. 24 2008 by M. MacKinlay
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 morePublished on Feb. 18 2004
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
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 morePublished on Jan. 22 2002 by Frank Werner