Based on the real-life experiences of Ed Horman. A conservative American businessman travels to a South American country to investigate the sudden disappearance of his son after a right-wing military takeover. Accompanied by his son's wife he uncovers a trail of cover-ups that implicate the US State department which supports the right-wing dictatorship.
It has become safe to say that if an American movie bears the etiquette â€œpolitical thrillerâ€ this means that, it is in reality a Left Wing propaganda film. Missing which was directed by Constantine Costa Gavras in 1982, starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek is a persuasive case in point.
We get a patriotic middle aged American businessman's station point on the 1973 Right Wing coup in Chile and how he and his daughter-in-law are desperately searching for his son, an â€œidealisticâ€ journalist, who went missing there. At first Jack Lemmon's character, Ed Horman suspects that his son and his daughter-in-law, played by Sissy Spacek, were involved in something or that his son did something to provoke his arrest but, as the movie unfolds, he becomes more and more suspicious of the American ambassador and his staff.
What is really missing in this so called political thriller, is a global overview that would show what the Right Wing coup was fighting against. Instead, we are intermittently exposed to scenes of political repression by the new regime, of the people of this South American country, as if to say that, the Right wing got up one day, and just decided to start killing people, for no apparent reason. There is also no information about what kind of articles Ed's son wrote, or what kind of newspaper he was writing for, only that it was considered to be Left Wing by the regime. There is absolutely no mention of the word Communist, from one end of the movie to the other, as if Communist terrorists and extremists did not even exist, in this part of the world.
John F. Kennedy opened the door to Communist infiltration, in Central and South America, when he decided to renege on promised air support to the Cuban expatriates, who tried to invade Cuba, in 1961 in order to take their country back from the Marxist tyrant Fidel Castro. This and his further deal with the Soviet Union to not plan an invasion of Cuba, in exchange for the withdrawal of the ICBMs by the Soviet Union from Cuba, provided the Communists with a permanent â€œaircraft carrierâ€ on the island of Cuba, from which to stage incursions into Central and South America.