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Criterion Collection: Missing [DVD] [1982] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Jack Lemmon , Sissy Spacek , Costa-Gavras    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 20.69
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Criterion Collection: Missing [DVD] [1982] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Salvador--Special Edition [DVD] + Under Fire [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, Charles Cioffi
  • Directors: Costa-Gavras
  • Writers: Costa-Gavras, Donald Stewart, John Nichols, Thomas Hauser
  • Producers: Edward Lewis, Jon Peters, Mildred Lewis
  • Format: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Oct 2008
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CW7ZS0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 (epitomised 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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Costa-Gavras' enduring masterpiece 20 July 2005
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Costa-Gavras shot his controversial 'State of Siege' in Chile not long before the violent US-backed Allende coup. Maybe it's that familiarity with the locale that makes Costa-Gavras' 'Missing' seem so authentic.

More than just a startling vision of day-to-day life in the aftermath of a violent coup, there's much more of a feeling for the place and what ordinary people lost in the coup. There's a real sense of chaos in its imagery - dead bodies littering the streets as people try to go about their daily business or floating by in rivers, soldiers chasing and shooting at a white horse through deserted streets or diners on a rooftop garden leaving their means to watch a helicopter gunship shoot at unseen curfew violators. The sheer casual and irrational nature of violence ("You Americans always assume there has to be a reason") gives the film a palpable sense of terror and dread: this is a place where even an earthquake can't get people out onto the dangerous streets after curfew.

The fact that this time round Costa-Gavras had a Hollywood budget to play with helps immensely, but he also has a script based around people who aren't defined strictly by their politics - indeed, the movie is basically a search for `a political neophyte' by a gruff and unlikeable conservative (Jack Lemmon, on excellent form) and the missing man's wife (Sissy Spacek), a search that takes in embassies crowded with asylum seekers, morgues with hundreds of bodies piled almost haphazardly and the national football stadium that has been turned into a vast prison/torture chamber/place of execution.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling suspense story, don't "miss" it... 1 Mar 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Undoubtedly Missing turns out to be a great piece of cinema, one of the brightest works of political film-maker Costa-Gavras. Based on true events, it successfully captures the chaotic atmosphere of Chile during the first weeks of Pinochet government. Crisp and compelling, the story is based on the vain struggle of an American businessman Ed Horman to recover his son, who vanished without a trace during the helter-skelter following the right-wing political coup.

The general mood of the movie fits the story and its backdrop well with a fine score by Vangelis. Acting two controversial characters, Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek both deliver dazzling performances. Costa-Gavras uses an ingenious technique of flashbacks to give the people more deep background and allows them to draw conclusions from what they may have missed. This is the reason that the movie lacked a bit of clarity to the end and it causes little ambiguity.

Contrary to the movie, that Universal DVD is such a "bare to bones" disc. There are no audio options (English mono only). The transfer is poor, pictures are grainy, and of course it lacks special features. What a shame!!! I think this is a kind of movie that really does deserve special edition treatment...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the great films of the 1980s and one of the greatest political thrillers of all time, shot through with a palpable sense of menace and at times almost unbearable tension. Costa-Gavras takes the true story of the disappearance and murder of an American journalist, Charlie Horman, and uses it to illustrate the wider story of the United States backed overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile in 1973, and the mass murder the coup perpetrators initiated in an effort to secure their position.
At the heart of the film is one of Jack Lemmon's finest performances - which in a career that included The Apartment, The China Syndrome and Some Like it Hot, is saying something. Sissy Spacek and John Shea are dependably fine in support, underscoring the still relevant point that ideological dogmatism and mule-headed ignorance of the world invariably leads to the killing and maiming of ordinary, loving people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine work of cinema 10 May 2008
"Missing" has to be one of the best films I've seen. Although the film couldn't be filmed in Chile due to the regime in place there at the time of filming, the architecture and scenery depicted in the film does indeed look strangely like Santiago. There are several features of the film that stand out - what is particularly effective is the use of 'flashbacks' which help the viewer to gradually gain a clearer picture of what is going on. However, unlike many films which either sanitise and glamorise violence - the violence of the coup is depicted as what it was really like - brutal, chaotic and extreme - you get a real sense of fear, and the constant gunshots in the background remind the viewer of the sickening level of violence that existed in the weeks after the coup. The film is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Chile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars COSTA GAVRAS FIRST AMERICAN FILM 18 Nov 2008
Missing [1982]
The true, unsolved story of the disappearance of US journalist Charles Horman in Chile, gives Jack Lemmon the best role in his career. Lemmon plays Ed Horman whose son Charlie, was a somewhat radical writer living in Chile with his wife, Joyse, at the time of the 1973 coup when President Allende was butchered and his struggling government overthrown.
Young Horman was suspicious about the number of top-ranking American Military Officials staying in Chile at the time and could only assume the worst. Not long afterward Horman vanished, apparently another man who knew too much. This is COSTA GRAVAS FIRST AMERICAN MOVIE.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I love it. Fantastic film. It arrived on time and is as good as expected. Get it and don't think more about it.
Published 6 months ago by maria j. martinez llanos
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film.
Good film of real life events, unlike outlandish common special effects CGI movies in the market which takes everyone for a brief escapist trance trip from the real world.
Published 8 months ago by A Morjaria
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth
People have to remember that this really happened in real life.
Worth a look though the film is showing its age by todays technical standards.
Published 9 months ago by AC
5.0 out of 5 stars As t Was
This DVD portrays just one of the many true harrowing stories of non Chileans and Chileans who were victims of the 1973 military fascist coup that took place.
Published 10 months ago by Jane McKay
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
This is an excellent movie and no doubt it deserves five stars. Since it is drama, not a sci-fi, and it was made in 1982, don't expect any special affect or even special DVD... Read more
Published 10 months ago by mile high nd
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing
A fantastic performance by Jack Lemon which our film club really did enjoy every moment. of this extreme suspense film.
Published 17 months ago by D.H. Stanford
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, painful and distressing masterpiece.
The message from this superb production has to be "It doesn't matter what you do so long you do it". Read more
Published 21 months ago by Wilberfalse
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb propaganda
Skilfully made, intelligent and engaging; flawed by the director's unremitting hostility to the USA and his assumption that all the worlds ills are caused by American meddling. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2011 by Brummy D
5.0 out of 5 stars xxxxxxx
Great film but very sad. Fantastic performance from Jack Lemmon and I suspect if the (true ) story was not against the American Government, Jack Lemmon would have got an oscar... Read more
Published on 28 May 2011 by MF Britton
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I saw this film years ago and I recorded it on tape. I have looked this film up for truth and I can say this is one of the rarest absolutely true stories there is. Read more
Published on 26 July 2010 by Marianna
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