Missing (film)

Missing (film)
Directed by Costa-Gavras
Produced by Edward Lewis
Mildred Lewis
Written by Donald E. Stewart
Thomas Hauser (book)
Starring Jack Lemmon
Sissy Spacek
Melanie Mayron
John Shea
Janice Rule
Music by Vangelis
Cinematography Ricardo Aronovich
Editing by Françoise Bonnot
Studio PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) February 12, 1982 (1982-02-12)
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa Gavras, and starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, Charles Cioffi and Janice Rule. It is based on the true story of American journalist Charles Horman, who disappeared in the bloody aftermath of the US-backed Chilean coup of 1973 that deposed leftist President Salvador Allende.

The film was banned in Chile during Pinochet's dictatorship, even though neither Chile nor Pinochet are specifically mentioned by name in the film (although the Chilean cities of Viña del Mar and Santiago are).[1]

Both the film and Thomas Hauser's book The Execution of Charles Horman were removed from the market, following a lawsuit filed against Costa-Gavras and Universal Pictures's parent company MCA by former Ambassador Nathaniel Davis and two others for defamation of character. A lawsuit against Hauser himself was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. Davis and his compatriots lost their lawsuit, after which the film was released by Universal in 2006.[citation needed]

A disclaimer from the State Department shown before the ending credits denies the United States' involvement in the death of Charles Horman, and they maintain that position to this day.



The film opens with Costa-Gavras' statement that the events of the film are true, and ends with a disclaimer from the United States Department of State denying that the events in the film happened. Set largely during the days and weeks following Horman's disappearance, the film depicts his father and wife searching to determine his fate. The film is based on a book that was first published under the title The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice (1978) by Thomas Hauser (later republished under the title Missing in 1982).


The score is by the Greek electronic composer Vangelis. The movie's piano theme has been used extensively in commercials, but an official release of the film's soundtrack has not yet occurred. The main theme appeared first on Vangelis' 1989 album Themes. A bootleg release of the soundtrack exists. A sung version with lyrics by Tim Rice has been recorded by Elaine Paige.

The film was released on both VHS and Laserdisc, but the VHS version of the film would be pulled from the market due to the lawsuit filed against director Costa-Gavras. Universal Home Video would re-release the film on DVD in 2006, following the dismissal of the lawsuit. A special edition DVD was released by The Criterion Collection in October 2008.


Missing won the Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Lemmon), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sissy Spacek) and Best Picture. The film also won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, [2] where Lemmon was awarded Best Actor for his performance.[2]


Actor Role
Jack Lemmon Ed Horman
Sissy Spacek Beth Horman
Melanie Mayron Terry Simon
John Shea Charles 'Charlie' Horman
Charles Cioffi Capt. Ray Tower, USN
David Clennon Consul Phil Putnam
Richard Venture U.S. Ambassador
Jerry Hardin Colonel Sean Patrick
Richard Bradford Andrew Babcock
Joe Regalbuto Frank Teruggi
Keith Szarabajka David Holloway
John Doolittle David McGeary
Janice Rule Kate Newman
Ward Costello Congressman
Hansford Rowe Senator
Tina Romero Maria
Richard Whiting Statesman

See also


External links

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