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?Missing?, Sat. 1/15, a chilling movie...


FredCDobbs
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Saturday 10 PM Eastern time, Jan. 15, ?11:

 

?Missing? (1982)

 

An American businessman gets a new perspective on his country when his son disappears during a military coup in Chile.

 

Cast: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, John Shea, Melanie Mayron Dir: Costa-Gavras C-123 mins, TV-MA

 

I saw this movie years ago, and it is really scary and frightening. This is one of the few 1980s films I would recommend to every classic movie fan, especially if you like chilling adventure/political movies in third-world countries.

 

To me, this is Jack Lemmon?s best film, and Sissy Spacek is excellent in it too.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084335/

 

I think I should add a politically-neutral review of this film, from a political ?centrist? point of view, based on my own experience in Nicaragua during the revolution in 1979.

 

It?s basically about a conservative American businessman from the US, who goes down to Chile to try to find his liberal American son, who is in his early 20s and who has suddenly disappeared, mysteriously, while visiting the country during the revolution and right-wing coup of 1973. The film takes a leftist/liberal and somewhat anti-American point of view, but as a scary movie, it?s very good.

 

Seems that Hollywood generally stopped making ?Latin American revolutionaries as bandits? movies way back in the 1940s, and they gradually started making ?Latin American revolutionaries as heroes? films in the 1950s and ?60s.

 

Old-movie fans might want to compare this Jack Lemmon film with the 1929 Frank Capra film ?Flight? to see Nicaraguan revolutionaries portrayed as ?bandits?, rather than as heroes, back in the 1920s when the US sent Marines to Nicaragua to help the Nicaraguan government get rid of the revolutionaries. TCM occasionally airs this Capra film, and in the movie the head bandit is called ?El Lobo? (the ?wolf? or ?coyote?). He was actually based on the real life revolutionary, Augusto Sandino, who the Nicaraguan Sandinistas named their revolutionary group after.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_C%C3%A9sar_Sandino

 

Here?s a photo I took of some Sandinistas in Nicaragua in 1979. That picture on the hand-drawn poster is of Augusto Sandino.

 

http://i50.tinypic.com/14c7247.jpg

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Fred, if you liked *Missing*, you really should see Costa-Gavras' earlier film, *Z*. I think it is even more exciting.

 

As to the political aspects of Chile at the time of *Missing*, I would point out that until the CIA, ITT, and Anaconda Copper conspired to oust Allende, Chile was the only country in South America that had NEVER had a dictator, only democratically elected governments. Allende, although a communist college econ professor, was elected, and could just as easily been voted out of office. But, the US felt it must install the dictator Pinochet, to teach Latin America a lesson.

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ValentineXavier wrote:

<< the US felt it must install the dictator Pinochet, to teach Latin America a lesson. >>

 

That was the *chilling* part of the whole story. Any wonnder why Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is so paranoid? (but he was always *Missing* a couple of cards from the deck)

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In my opinion, the movie is not about the politics of the coup or the reason for it or the people behind it. The story is about the young idealistic American man who goes down and sticks his nose in places where he doesn?t belong, and he disappears. Na?ve young American should never get involved in any third-world country?s revolution.

 

It?s similar to the tragic Lori Berenson story. She was a na?ve young American girl who went to Peru in the mid-?90s and got involved with helping a local revolutionary group there, without realizing what a stupid mess she was getting herself into. Around 1995, at the age of 25, she was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Peru for working with the revolutionaries. She?s still in prison now, and now she?s 40 years old. She has 5 more years to serve.

 

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2011677,00.html

 

To me, the ?Missing? film is not about the politics of the Chilean revolution, but it?s similar to the theme of the National Geographic series, ?Locked Up Abroad?, about na?ve young Americans and European kids who go into backward third-world countries, thinking they are so much smarter than the local people, and they get involved in some kind of illegal activity, not realizing they will wind up either dead or in prison for many years.

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Fred, the main problem with people getting in trouble on foreign soil is that they take our freedoms for granted and just because they are Americans, they think the laws of the country they are in don't apply to them. Many countries have hard to extreme penalties for breaking their laws for example some has the death penalty for drug smuggling. A woman can be arrested in an Islamic country for simply not wearing a head scarf or some type of head dress when disembarking from an airliner.

 

Remember that commercial from the 1980's that warns people who are think of traveling, its theme was *You get in trouble over there, you are for in the hassle of your life!*

 

Michael P. Fay, the teenager that got four strokes from the cane in Singapore for vandalism in May 1994. By their standards a *light* sentence! ow, ow.

 

Edited by: hamradio on Jan 11, 2011 10:53 PM

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> In my opinion, the movie is not about the politics of the coup or the reason for it or the people behind it. The story is about the young idealistic American man who goes down and sticks his nose in places where he doesnt belong, and he disappears. Na?ve young American should never get involved in any third-world countrys revolution.

 

Well, I agree with you just a little. The story is told from the POV of a non-political father, who wants his son back. He starts out not giving a damn about politics, but comes to realize that what he sees is evil. Still, he tries to stay apolitical, mostly because that is his best position to try and find out what happened to his son. Director Costa-Gavras is a very political guy, known for making films about hot political subjects.

 

I do agree that when US citizens go abroad, especially if they mingle in politics, they are subject to all kinds of things unimaginable in the US, and claiming they have rights as a US citizen in a foreign country is just ignorant.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> This is one of the few 1980s films I would recommend to every classic movie fan, especially if you like chilling adventure/political movies in third-world countries.

 

Fred, I'm gonna remind you of this every time you say all films made after 1960 are lousy!

wink.gif

 

(Although much of the time I agree with you. I almost fell off my chair when I saw el stinko Pretty Woman and purely awful Forest Gump will be shown on TCM)

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I was so excited when I got my January Now Playing guide and read that MISSING was being shown this month because I haven't seen it in years. It is such an amazing film. Jack Lemmon is particularly good in it. Disturbing in some ways, but not so disturbing as to turn you off to the film, as many modern filmmakers like to do. Just enough to disturb you into realizing that all isn't right with the world and there's still changes we need to make.

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}

> I was so excited when I got my January Now Playing guide and read that MISSING was being shown this month because I haven't seen it in years. It is such an amazing film. Jack Lemmon is particularly good in it. Disturbing in some ways, but not so disturbing as to turn you off to the film, as many modern filmmakers like to do. Just enough to disturb you into realizing that all isn't right with the world and there's still changes we need to make.

 

Don't forget. Tomorrow night. :)

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I long since knew that, lol. The coup is in the "1973 Book of the Year" addition of "Illustrated World Encyclopedia". Its sort of a poor man's Britannica which were too expensive at the time. It has the articles telling what happened with photos of Chilean fighter jets bombing the presidential palace ending Allende's very short stay in power.

 

The "1975 Book of the Year" shows Nixon turinng over all those Watergate transcript reel to reel tapes which was the beginning of the end for him

 

These books are a time trip, showing stuff like the tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King, the space probe Pioneer 10 flying by Jupiter, the Vietnam War, etc.

 

Edited by: hamradio on Jan 16, 2011 12:12 AM Correcting typos.

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The stuff shown in the movie has always gone on. We had troops, spies, and undercover operators in countries around the world since the very beginning and all during the 19th Century. There is nothing unusual about our government?s involvement in other countries. There are some notable exceptions. Eisenhower could have sent US military planes to bomb Castro and his revolutionaries in Cuba, but he didn?t, and Jimmy Carter could have sent military aid to Somoza in Nicaragua, but Carter withdrew all aid by 1979 and Somoza literally ran out of bombs and tank shells. Carter helped the revolutionaries by withdrawing the aid to Somoza.

 

What was unusual by the late ?60s and afterwards was young American leftists going down to help the revolutionaries and getting themselves into a lot of trouble.

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In 1999, the government finally released documentation that US intelligence agents played a role in Horman's death. The memos were dated 1976 and were written in response to further inquiry into the death of Charlie Horman and the US involvement in the coup d'etat.

 

Charlie Horman's wife had the remains tested for DNA a few years back and it was discovered that the remains that were shipped back to her and Ed weren't Charlie's at all.

 

She continues to try and discover what happened to him.

 

Edited by: lzcutter for clarification

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In 1975, during the Church hearings, named for Sen. Frank Church who headed the committee, it was first revealed that the United States had been involved in the coup d'etat that brought an end to the democratically elected Allende government in favor of a dictatorship headed by Pinochet.

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The following paragraph is from the book I have.

 

Demonstrators in several foreign capitals charged the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency with masterminding the coup.The value of U.S. investments in Chile had dropped from $750 million to $70 millon as properties, including large copper mines, were nationalized without agreement or compensation. One news account claimed the U.S. officials had known about the coup in advance, but the White House spokesman denied that the Administration had any foreknowledge of or role in the takeover

 

Get the fire extinguisher, someones pants is on fire.

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The coup was organized by the CIA, and paid for by ITT and Anaconda Copper. Enter "Dita Beard" on wikipedia, and read some of those articles. Or, google dita beard itt affair. Then CIA director Bill Casey literally died to maintain his deniability, and avoid testifying before Congress.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> In 1975, during the Church hearings, named for Sen. Frank Church who headed the committee, it was first revealed that the United States had been involved in the coup d'etat that brought an end to the democratically elected Allende government in favor of a dictatorship headed by Pinochet.

 

So?

 

In the 1920s the US sent Marines to Nicaragua to stop the revolution and support he Somoza family?s dictatorship, which lasted until 1979. US involvement in foreign governments is common. Foreign government involvement in the US is common. Welcome to the planet earth.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nicaragua

 

?With U.S. support Anastasio Somoza Garc?a outmaneuvered his political opponents, including Sandino who was executed by National Guard officers in February 1934, and took over the presidency in 1936. The Somoza family would rule until 1979.?

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