The Emerald Forest (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  3 July 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,086 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?


The names of the indigenous South American tribes were "The Fierce People" and "The Invisible People." There is a reference to a former tribe named "The Bat People." The members of "The Invisible Tribe" refer to the dam builders as "The Termite People." See more »


Wanadi: When a dream becomes flesh, trouble is not far behind.
See more »


Referenced in Nobody from Nowhere (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

The best movie of Boorman
29 July 2004 | by (washington DC) – See all my reviews

Certainly the best of Boorman. After seeing again Deliverance, which was thrilling when it was first released, and Excalibur, poetical, Wagnerian but a little bit out of date (regarding the shining 70's fake armors), Emerald Forest deepens philosophy and ethnology. Very profound and touching, very good acting, excellent photography, technically superb, there's nothing to really complain about. It hasn't aged at all and probably won't. I gave it a 10 because I do not see anything to improve. In our sad new era of ethnological destruction, where there's no place anymore for the Aborigene or any other tribal culture, this movie gives a little hope, a little reverie of seeing things turning in the right direction thanks to ancient magic. How vain but how beautiful!

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