129The $60 Million Lawsuit v. Costa-Gavras' "Missing"
- Dec 25, 2000$60 Million Libel Suit by US Official to Stop a Movie about the Truth
Military officer sued Costa-Gavras' film Missing, about the
assassination of Charles Horman in Chile
The Hormans subsequently filed suit for wrongful death, but it was
eventually dismissed because the CIA refused to release the relevant
files. The film Missing won the Golden Palm award at the 1982 Cannes
Film Festival, and Jack Lemmon, who played Ed Horman, was awarded the
prize for best actor. The director Costa-Gavras won an Oscar for best
screenplay based on material from another medium, and Missing gained
Oscar nominations for best picture, best actor and best actress
(Sissy Spacek in the role of Charles's wife).
Some, however, were not so pleased. Ray Davis, the senior US Military
Group officer in Chile at the time of the coup (Captain Ray Tower in
the film), filed a $60 million libel suit against Costa-Gavras and
The suit was dismissed on summary judgment in 1987.