Missing (film)

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Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa Gavras, and starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea and Charles Cioffi. 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. A lawsuit against Hauser himself was dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed. Davis and his compatriots lost the lawsuit. After the lawsuit, the film was again released by Universal in 2006.[citation needed]



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 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 in vain to determine his fate. The film is based on a book 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 special edition DVD was released by The Criterion Collection in October 2008.

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