The Emerald Forest (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  3 July 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,087 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 39 critic

After the son of engineer Bill Markham is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer spends the next 10 years searching for him.


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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yara Vaneau ...
William Rodriguez ...
Dira Paes ...
Eduardo Conde ...
Uwe Werner
Ariel Coelho ...
Padre Leduc
Peter Marinker ...
Mario Borges ...
Átila Iório ...
Trader (as Atilia Iorio)
Gabriel Archanjo ...
Trader's Henchman
Gracindo Júnior ...
Arthur Muhlenberg ...


Based on a true story, Powers Boothe plays an American dam engineer in Brazil. Boothe's son (played by Charlie Boorman - son of director John Boorman) is kidnapped by a rain forest tribe, and raised as one of their own. Boothe continues to look for him and after many trials and adventures, stumbles upon him. Written by A. Felhofer <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rain | dam | rain forest | city | brazil | See All (113) »


What kind of man would return year after year for ten years to rescue a missing boy from the most savage jungle in the world? His father. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Floresta Esmeralda  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,467,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Average Shot Length = ~8.7 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~8.4 seconds. See more »


Bill Markham: Why did you take my son?
Wanadi: One day, i was hunting at the Edge of The World when Tomme appeared and he smiled; and even though you were a Termite Child, I had not the heart to send you back to The Dead World.
Tomme: Why are they called The Termite People?
Wanadi: They come into The World and chew down all the grandfather trees. Just like termites.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time of the Apes (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best eco-awareness pieces since "Silent Spring"
31 August 2005 | by (Riverside, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

Not sure that you'll get a comment from anyone of my generation (the Depression-ridden 30's) about the Emerald Forest. But here goes, anyway...

I first became aware of the term "ecology" when I signed up for a masters-level college class of the same name in 1965. It was the first formalization of the study of ecology on the West Coast. I took it simply because I needed a natural science credit and all the other classes were full. The class changed my life, and my perspectives. I devoured Rachel Carson, and savored movies like Dances With Wolves and Medicine Man. I even joined Green Peace at the age of 32 and suspect that I am probably the only Republican in history that can make that claim.

I would vote that Emerald Forest is the best of all popular eco-message dramas. It is my all time favorite. It is so well done in every area...script, acting, photography, and re-enactment of tribal customs. At the same time, it delivers a powerful message that can only be dismissed by the most callous of personalities. Every time I see the movie I am filled with regret that I could never accomplish such a landmark cinematographic ecological statement.

I was also filled with the emotion to go to Brazil and blow away anyone with a chainsaw...

27 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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