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The Missionary (1982)

R | | Comedy | 5 November 1982 (USA)
In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes.... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Slatterthwaite / Narrator
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The Reverend Fitzbanks
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Ada
Valerie Whittington ...
Emmeline
Roland Culver ...
Lord Fermleigh
Rosamund Greenwood ...
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Parswell
Neil Innes ...
Singer in Gin Palace
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Old Man outside Hotel
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Storyline

In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes. Charles hopes Deborah, his fiancee, will object and give him an excuse to say no to the bishop. But she is so imperturbably innocent that she totally fails to understand what he is being asked to do, and urges him to do his best. Wealthy Lady Ames is expected to fund the work, but once she makes it clear to Charles that there will be no contribution unless he shares her bed... Written by James Barrett <jbarrett@sbastk.ess.sunysb.edu>

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He gave his body to save their souls. See more »

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Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A misszionárius  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two movies theatrically released in 1982 that were directed by Richard Loncraine. The other was Brimstone & Treacle (1982). See more »

Quotes

[Writing to The Times on how to treat the poor]
Lord Ames: Are there two "l"s in "disembowelment"?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pay close attention to the photo album during the end credits, the photos reveal details about the characters after the events of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Live from the Lighthouse (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Put On Your Ta-Ta Little Girlie
Written and Composed by Fred W. Leigh
Sung by Neil Innes
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User Reviews

 
Shows what we had in Hordern/Harrison/Elliott. Sad, sad losses.
13 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful film. Watch it with two or three of you in the room, because laughter is infectious. As ever with films that Harrison invests in, it's not afraid to mix styles, but also, there is no point that it labours. Too often films are afraid of changing their tone, as if they had to nail their colours to the 'tonal' mast early on and then obey that: a screwball comedy has to be screwball, a period piece has to be charming, engaging, but not dramatic, etc etc etc.

The script, written by Palin himself, is an absolute gem, and for once his silliness is kept well within bounds. As someone else said, this isn't the 'expansio ad absurdum' technique of fine, fine Python, nor the pull-faces-and-use-silly-words-can't-think-of-an-idea of Palin on his off days. Enough, but not enough, has been written about the cast, all of whom provide top-notch performances. Whom to praise most? I note as well, that the "Memorable Quotes" section still misses what may be the funniest exchange in the whole film, the sequence which begins, "You know perfectly well why we got rid of Margetson." The only people who are going to be disappointed by this film are those people who have dogmatic views about what a Palin film should be, or who think a comedy should spare them the trouble of thinking and leave them in a heap of rubble on the floor. Take the film on its own merits and, though you might think of ideas which the film didn't touch, places where it didn't go, you will still find enough in there to remember those ninety minutes fondly. Would I see it again? When's it on next?


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