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Missing (Special Edition) (Widescreen) (Universal Studio Selections)

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The Greek director Constantin Costa-Gavras is famous for political thrillers such as Z. His films that followed Z, most notably State of Seige, were also crafty and powerful denunciations of entrenched corruption in European powers. Missing was his first American film. Based on the true story of Charles Horman as told in the book by Thomas Hauser, Missing is both an indictment of government oppression and a tense, stirring look at the generation gap of the 1960s and 1970s. Horman was a writer who disappeared in an American-backed Chilean coup. In the film, the country is an unnamed Latin American nation, but there is no mistaking the script's scathing attack on the United States government and its accomplices. The film focuses on the struggles of Horman's hippie wife (Sissy Spacek) and strict conservative father (Jack Lemmon) to find him and gain his release. Costa-Gavras has no use for the maudlin sentiment that normally accompanies such generational conflicts in movies; Lemmon and Spacek forge their unlikely alliance under fire. Both give superb performances, with Lemmon showing the dramatic talent that had long been neglected for comic roles. Michael Betzold, All Movie Guide