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The Mission

  • Drama
  • 1986
  • Roland Joffé
  • 119 mins
  • PG

Summary

The missionary work of Jesuit priests in 18th-century Brazil is threatened by the activities of unscrupulous colonial merchants and rival factions within the Church, leading to a series of tense confrontations which not only endanger their lives but also their faith. Historical drama, starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Cherie Lunghi and Ray McAnally.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but accorded a mixed critical reception, this is a studied, elegant and, ultimately, very moving historical drama set in 18th-century South America. There's no denying the longueurs in Robert Bolt's script, a certain flabbiness in Roland Joffé's direction and a distinctly detached turn from a curiously cast Robert De Niro. However, Jeremy Irons more than makes amends with a performance of great sincerity as the head of a Jesuit mission under threat from the greed of Iberian slavers and the whim of Ray McAnally's cardinal. Chris Menges's Oscar-winning photography is glorious and Ennio Morricone's haunting score sends shivers down the spine.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
MendozaRobert De Niro
Father GabrielJeremy Irons
AltamiranoRay McAnally
FelipeAidan Quinn
CarlottaCherie Lunghi
HontarRonald Pickup
FieldingLiam Neeson
CabezaChuck Low
Witch doctorSigifredo Ismare
Indian chiefAsuncion Ontiveros
SebastianDaniel Berrigan
IbayeMonirak Sisowath
Father ProvincialTony Lawn

Crew

rolename
DirectorRoland Joffé

Details

Theatrical distributor
Palace Pictures
Language
English
Guidance
Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and brief nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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