Missing in Action is a 1984 American action film directed by Joseph Zito and starring Chuck Norris.
It is set in the context of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue.
Colonel Braddock, who escaped a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp 10 years earlier, returns to Vietnam to find American soldiers listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.
Colonel James Braddock is a US military officer who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese POW camp, which he escaped 10 years ago. After the war, Braddock accompanies a government investigation team that travels to Ho Chi Minh City to investigate reports of US soldiers still held prisoner. Braddock obtains the evidence then travels to Thailand, where he meets Tuck, an old Army friend turned black market kingpin. Together, they launch a mission deep into the jungle to free the US POW’s from General Trau.
- Chuck Norris as Colonel James Braddock.
- M. Emmet Walsh as Jack Tucker.
- David Tress as Sen. Porter.
- Lenore Kasdorf as Ann.
- Ernie Ortega as Vinh.
- James Hong as Gen. Trau.
- Erich Anderson as Masucci (as E. Erich Anderson).
- The name of Braddock was inspired by The Graduate character, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman.
- The producers’ idea was to create a Vietnam War hero with the name of a lazy Californian student.
- The concept for the film originated from a treatment, written by James Cameron in 1983, for the film Rambo: First Blood Part II that was floating around Hollywood at the time.
- This explains the similar plotlines between Rambo franchise and Missing in Action series.
- Representatives from Cannon Group said Cameron’s script served as inspiration to the film and subsequently produced and released the first two Missing in Action films two months before the release of Rambo: First Blood Part II, in order to avoid copyright violation lawsuits.
- Norris later dedicated these films to his younger brother Wieland. Wieland, a private in the 101st Airborne Division, had been killed in June 1970 in Vietnam while on patrol in the defence of Firebase Ripcord.
- Despite the overwhelmingly negative reception from critics, the film was a commercial success and has become one of Chuck Norris’s most popular films.
- It was also Chuck Norris’s first film with The Cannon Group.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Joseph Zito.
- Producer(s): Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.
- Writer(s): James Bruner (screenplay), John M. Crowther (story), and Lance Hool (story).
- Music: Jay Chattaway.
- Cinematography: Joao Fernandes.
- Editor(s): Joel Goodman and Daniel Loewenthal.
- Production: The Cannon Group.
- Distributor(s): MGM and Paramount Pictures.
- Release Date: 16 November 1984.
- Running time: 101 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English and Vietnamese.