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The Mission (1986)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  31 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 41,974 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 49 critic

18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.



(original story & screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Low ...
Bercelio Moya ...
Sigifredo Ismare ...
Asuncion Ontiveros ...
Indian Chief
Alejandrino Moya ...
Chief's Lieutenant
Daniel Berrigan ...
Rolf Gray ...
Young Jesuit
Álvaro Guerrero ...


Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors. Written by mattbballman17

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La misión  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,500,000 (estimated)


$17,218,000 (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 picture was voted in April 2007 to be the No. #1 movie on London's Anglican 'The Church Times' independent weekly newspaper's "Top 50 Religious Films" of all time list. See more »


As the woman is painting the right side of Rodrigo's chest, she completes an arc to his upper abdomen. The scene cuts, and she is just starting the painting on his upper right chest. See more »


[first lines]
Altamirano: Your Holiness, the little matter that brought me here to the furthest edge of your light on Earth is now settled. The Indians are once more free to be enslaved by the Spanish and Portuguese settlers. I don't think that's hitting the right note. Begin again... Your Holiness, I write to you in this year of Our Lord 1758 from the southern continent of the Americas, from the town of Asunción, in the Province of La Plata, two weeks march from the great mission of San Miguel. These ...
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Crazy Credits

At the film's very end, after the final credits, Altimarano gives the audience an ambiguous, almost accusing look, as if he were asking it, "Would you or would you not have done this?" See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Gabriel's Oboe
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Words alone are not enough......
6 November 2002 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

I have read the other comments and am stunned by people who view The Mission in a negative light. It feels as though you are attacking a loved one - perhaps because this movie IS a loved one to me. Never, ever have I felt so deeply about a film. I don't have any idea where to begin checking off the pro's: cinematography? stupendous acting? heart-breaking subject matter? moving soundtrack? I don't think it's possible to do that with The Mission

  • one needs to absorb it as a whole. An entire masterpiece.

I was one of the fortunate ones to see this movie in a theatre back in the 80's - we were visiting friends in another city and, for lack of anything better to do that evening, decided to see this film. To say I was moved would be such an understatement as to be ridiculous. It is the saddest commentary on what horrors have been perpetrated in the name of God....

I have seen this movie several times since then and own it now but I am always very careful whom I see it with and when I see it. You need to have a block of time set aside when you can completely immerse yourself in this film. Unplug the phone, put the kids to bed, make sure the dog doesn't have to go out. If you don't pay attention - from the very beginning to right after the credits - you will miss something important. Prepare yourself emotionally for The Mission. Step into it, live it, let it speak to you. Feel the struggle of all involved.

I love this movie. infinity out of 10

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