When an idealistic writer disappears during the Right Wing military coup in 1973 Chile, his wife and American businessman father try to find him.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 7.7/10 (7,517 voted)


Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

Based on the real-life experiences of Ed Horman, this is the story of an American father of conservative background who comes to a South American country to search for his missing son, a journalist. Ed joins with his daughter-in-law Beth, who like her husband is politically polarized from the father, in prying through the bureaucracy and dangerous political intrigue in search of their son and husband. Little by little, the father comes to realize that his own beloved government is not telling him the truth.

Writers: Costa-Gavras, Thomas Hauser


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

Col. Sean Patrick

Richard Bradford

Andrew Babcock

Joe Regalbuto

Frank Teruggi

Keith Szarabajka

David Holloway

John Doolittle

David McGeary

Janice Rule

Kate Newman

Ward Costello


Hansford Rowe


Release Date: 27 May 1982

Filming Locations: Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

Gross: $14,986,793

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Nathaniel Davis, America's Ambassador to Chile at the time of the coup, and the basis of the character played by Richard Venture, sued Thomas Hauser, Costa-Gavras, and Universal Pictures for implying in the film that he and his team were complicit in the disappearance and death of Charles Horman. The suit was dismissed. In a January 2007 Q & A, Costa-Gavras said that Lew Wasserman, then head of Universal, so strongly supported the film, he insisted the studio refuse to negotiate any financial settlement.


Ed is shown arriving in Chile on a Pan Am DC-10. Pan Am did not operate the DC-10 until 1980 when it purchased National Airlines.


You Americans, you always assume you must do something before you can be arrested.

User Review

Eye-opening and depressing

Rating: 10/10

Though I was 30 yrs old when the film came out in 1982 I didn't see it
at the time although I was aware of its content. And, as is true of a
lot of people my age (tho not all, of course), I toyed with liberal
political beliefs when I was younger (1960's and 1970's), then
gradually became more moderate bordering on conservative as I got
older, onto where now I personally am not too sure where to stand.
Well, I just saw 'Missing' for the 1st time. It brings back all my
previous leftist 'paranoia' about capitalism and national interests.
And causes me to wonder why I ever abandoned them. After the movie, I
cruised certain sites on the Internet, one being a series of articles
referenced in the misc. section under this movie on IMDb. They
chillingly re-enforced the truth (?) that at the highest levels of our
government there was complicity, even outright orders, to kill
thousands, including American citizens, in the interest of capitalism,
national interests and (so-called) 'national security'. I am sorry to
say (sorry in the sense that with my limited personal intelligence, I
am never completely sure if I am right and sorry to doubt my own
government) that I am starting agree with some others, that our foreign
policy has, is and probably will be be based, to the detriment of our
national security, on the almighty dollar. I'm also sorry for the
political comments on a movie site but, of course, the nature of
"Missing" brought this on, and its very well directed, written and
acted scenes. Please don't question things I have said unless you have
seen the movie and read some of the articles. 10/10 ***new addition***
And I completely, of course, agree with lev_lafayette. Read the book,
it is much better. I have read the book, 'Missing'. And as with most
movies based on books, especially 'non-fiction' books, the content in
the book is more detailed and hits you closer to the bone, heart, mind
and conscience in many ways than the movie. And that is hard to believe
in this case because Constantin Costa-Gavras (director) managed to
create a movie experience that is nearly as moving as the work it was
based upon. It was/is a great movie experience….sir. Thank you, CC-G.
For those of you out there who have an easy criticism (one I agree
with) now of the US (MY country and I care about it) because of Iraq,
you need to watch this film or read the book. What can go wrong is deep
seated (human instincts) and hard to root out. It can happen to you and
your country and government. We are all human and capable of desire,
greed and religious beliefs overruling true morality and an open mind
and heart. Please, all of you, keep things in perspective. Fight for
the right of anyone to truly express their opinion without fear of
repercussions and fight for the rights of all peoples. Especially
against government repression and government crimes against humanity.
Bless your soul, Charles Horman, and Thomas Hauser, the author of The
Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice (1978). Curse your
souls, all those who contributed toward Mr. Horman's death. Including
my president and his advisers. nuffsaid