The Mission

The Mission

Roland Joffe (1986)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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.


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.

Cast & Crew

Mendoza Robert De Niro
Father Gabriel Jeremy Irons
Altamirano Ray McAnally
Carlotta Cherie Lunghi
Felipe Aidan Quinn
Hontar Ronald Pickup
Fielding Liam Neeson
Cabeza Chuck Low
Witch doctor Sigifredo Ismare
Director Roland Joffe
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Palace PicturesGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and brief nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray