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The Missionary (1982)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  2 November 1982 (USA)
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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 overview, first billed only:
Slatterthwaite / Narrator
The Reverend Fitzbanks
Tricia George ...
Valerie Whittington ...
Roland Culver ...
Lord Fermleigh
Rosamund Greenwood ...
Neil Innes ...
Singer in Gin Palace
John Barrett ...
Old Man outside Hotel


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When you have a fiancée, a lover and you have to lead 25 women of the night down the path of righteousness.; you must pray for more than guidance, you must pray for strength. See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A misszionárius  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Palin performed a number of roles on this movie. Palin was sole writer, a producer and lead actor. The picture is also the only ever film where Palin is credited as a producer. See more »


[Isabel has been injured]
Reverend Fortescue: I'm sorry. Dear, God, I'm so sorry.
Lady Isabel Ames: You were only trying to do the decent thing.
[Fortescue begins to drape his coat around her]
Lady Isabel Ames: No, don't Charles.
[He continues anyway]
Lady Isabel Ames: That's the trouble with you. You're far too decent.
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 »


Referenced in Comedy Connections: Ripping Yarns (2008) See more »


Put On Your Ta-Ta Little Girlie
Written and Composed by Fred W. Leigh
Sung by Neil Innes
See more »

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User Reviews

cool religion
23 December 2009 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Despite the presence of Michael Palin, "The Missionary" is not a Monty Python movie. It certainly doesn't consist of the wry humor that Monty Python did. Rather, it's got the sort of humor where you sometimes have to listen hard to catch the jokes...that is, when the main stuff isn't happening. Palin plays a chaplain who returns from Africa to start a school to help the poor, but has to get on an aristocrat's (Maggie Smith) REALLY good side to acquire the funds. It appears to be the sort of movie that they made to have fun. The movies from George Harrison's company HandMade Films that I've seen (others include "Time Bandits" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") have always been good ones. I certainly recommend this one. Worth seeing.

Also starring Trevor Howard, Denholm Elliott, Michael Hordern, Graham Crowden, David Suchet, Phoebe Nicholls, Tricia George, Valerie Whittington, Roland Culver, Rosamund Greenwood, Timothy Spall and Neil Innes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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