Missing (1982 film)

1982 film directed by Costa-Gavras
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Missing is a 1982 American drama film based on a true story of American journalist Charles Horman, who disappeared during the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. It was banned in Chile because of this theme.

Directed and written by Costa-Gavras. Based on the non-fiction book by Thomas Hauser.

Ed Horman

  • [voiceover] Ed Horman filed suit charging eleven government officials, including Henry A. Kissinger, with complicity and negligence in the death of his son. The body was not returned home until seven months later, making an accurate autopsy impossible. After years of litigation, the information necessary to prove or disprove complicity remained classified as secrets of state. The suit was dismissed.


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

Captain Ray Tower, USN

  • You gotta learn to stay ahead of the power curve, kid.
  • I don't know what happened to your kid, Ed. But I understand he was a bit of a snoop. Poked his nose around in a lot of dangerous places where he didn't really belong. Now, suppose I went up to your town, New York, and I started messing around with the Mafia. I wind up dead in the East River. And my wife or my father complains to the police because they didn't protect me. They really wouldn't have much of a case, would they? You play with fire, you get burned.


Embassy driver: If you don't mind my asking, what's Christian Science about?
Ed Horman: [Distracted] Faith... It's about faith.
Embassy driver: Faith in what?
Ed Horman: Truth.

Kate Newman: What we need to know is, can they order an American to "disappear" without consulting the Americans first?
Paris: No, they wouldn't dare.
Ed Horman: How can I verify that?
Paris: You can't.

Ed Horman: He, he seems so innocent. Almost deliberately naive.
Beth Horman: Is that so bad?
Ed Horman: Is that so good?
Beth Horman: You raised him.

Beth Horman: And what are the basics? God, country and Wall Street?
Ed Horman: You know what I mean.
Beth Horman: I know, I know. God bless our way of life!
Ed Horman: Oh, a very good way of life it is, young lady, no matter how much people like you and Charles try to tear it down with your sloppy idealism. I can no longer abide the young people of our country who live off their parents and the fat of the land and then they find nothing better to do than whine and complain.

Ed Horman: This past week I've felt like, erm, my heart has been torn out of me.
Beth Horman: It's okay.
Ed Horman: I feel very guilty.
Beth Horman: Hey, Charlie always says guilt is like fear. It's given to us for survival., not destruction.
Ed Horman: Oh. Beth, for what it's worth, I think you are one of the most courageous people I have ever met.

Ed Horman: Now, erm, I owe you an apology.
Beth Horman: No, you don't.
Ed Horman: No, no, no. Well, for a long time now I've sold you short. Both of you. I don't really know why. Unless it's because I'm getting old. And I'm very stubborn.

Consul Phil Putnam: Please try to understand. There are so many cases. They're all so important, and this isn't the only one we're working on
Ed Horman: It's the only one I care about.
Consul Phil Putnam: You and a lot of other people. Listen, I've never seen so many cables from Washington. What kind of pull do you have up there anyway?
Ed Horman: I'm an American citizen.

Silvio: Believe us, sir. Your son is not what they told you.
Ed Horman: How do you know that, Silvio?
Silvio: He's a nice guy. He's sincere. A hard worker. But he's a political neophyte. He's terrified of violence.

U. S. Ambassador: We're not involved, Mr. Horman. Our position has been completely neutral.
Ed Horman: That is a bald face lie, sir. How can you say a thing like that when you have army colonels, you have naval engineers, they're all over Viña del Mar.
U. S. Ambassador: Please sit down. Look, it's very obvious you're harbouring some misconception regarding our role here.
Ed Horman: What is your role here? Besides inducing a regime that murders thousands of human beings?
U. S. Ambassador: Let's level with each other, sir. If you hadn't been personally involved in this unfortunate incident, you'd be sitting at home complacent and more or less oblivious to all of this. This mission is pledged to protect America interests, our interests.
Ed Horman: Well they're not mine.
U. S. Ambassador: There are over three thousand US firms doing business down here. And those are Americans interests. In other words, your interest. I am concerned with the preservation of a way of life.
Captain Ray Tower, USN: And a damned good one.
Ed Horman: [Staring out the window] Maybe that's why there's nobody out there.
U. S. Ambassador: You can't have it both ways.

Consul Phil Putnam: Listen, Mr Horman, I wish there was something we could say or do.
Ed Horman: Well, there's something I'm going to do. I'm going to sue you, Phil. And Tower and the Ambassador and everybody who let that boy die. We're going to make it so hot for you you'll wish you were stationed in the Antarctic.
Consul Phil Putnam: Well, I guess that's your privilege.
Ed Horman: No, that's my right! I just thank God we live in a country where we can still put people like you in jail.



Quotes about

  • For me, it was an instrumental movie. I was younger then, but that movie made me write a lot as a poet, and it was absolutely accurate. It was a very sobering experience to watch this movie.
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