The 1982 film:
- Adaptation Displacement: The film is adapted from a little-known book by Thomas Hauser, The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice.
- Awesome Music: The score by Vangelis, while sparse, is also very moving, especially the main theme.
- Nightmare Fuel: The morgue scene.
- The film's depiction of the 1973 Chilean coup in general is quite chilling. Bodies line the streets, military units are active everywhere and at all times, and one could be imprisoned or even executed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as was the case with Frank Teruggi.
- Retroactive Recognition: Frank Fontana and Holtz are two of the Americans captured by the military along with Charlie Horman.
- Tear Jerker: The moment when Ed receives final confirmation that his son is dead, followed immediately by a Personal Effects Reveal. His devastation at the reveal is beautifully conveyed by Jack Lemmon, who was nominated an Oscar for his performance along with Spacek.