IMDb > The Mission (1986)
The Mission
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Mission (1986) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 33 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Mission -- A visually stunning epic, The Mission recounts the true story of two men - a man of the sword (Robert De Niro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons).
The Mission -- 18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.


User Rating:
7.5/10   44,022 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Bolt (original story & screenplay)
View company contact information for The Mission on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1986 (USA) See more »
18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Roland Joffe's follow up to the masterful The Killing Fields is well-crafted and often easy to admire, but ultimately comes up a bit short. See more (196 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert De Niro ... Rodrigo Mendoza

Jeremy Irons ... Father Gabriel

Ray McAnally ... Cardinal Altamirano

Aidan Quinn ... Felipe Mendoza

Cherie Lunghi ... Carlotta

Ronald Pickup ... Hontar
Chuck Low ... Cabeza

Liam Neeson ... Fielding
Bercelio Moya ... Indian Boy
Sigifredo Ismare ... Witch Doctor
Asuncion Ontiveros ... Indian Chief
Alejandrino Moya ... Chief's Lieutenant
Daniel Berrigan ... Sebastian
Rolf Gray ... Young Jesuit
Álvaro Guerrero ... Jesuit
Tony Lawn ... Father Provincial
Joe Daly ... Nobleman
Carlos Duplat ... Portuguese Commander
Rafael Camerano ... Spanish Commander
Monirak Sisowath ... Ibaye
Silvestre Chiripua ... Indian
Luis Carlos Gonzalez ... Boy Singer
Maria Teresa Ripoll ... Carlotta's Maid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alberto Borja ... Priest (uncredited)
Jacques Des Grottes ... Priest (uncredited)
Enrique Lamas ... Nobleman (uncredited)

Fred Melamed ... Cabeza (voice) (uncredited)
Antonio Segovia ... Nobleman (uncredited)
Harlan Venner ... Secretary (uncredited)

Directed by
Roland Joffé 
Writing credits
Robert Bolt (original story & screenplay)

Produced by
Fernando Ghia .... producer
David Puttnam .... producer
Iain Smith .... associate producer
Alejandro Azzano .... executive producer (uncredited)
Felipe López Caballero .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Cinematography by
Chris Menges 
Film Editing by
Jim Clark 
Casting by
Susie Figgis 
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Stuart Craig 
Art Direction by
Norman Dorme (supervising art director)
John King 
George Richardson 
Costume Design by
Enrico Sabbatini 
Makeup Department
Charlotte Bakker .... wig maker
Elaine Bowerbank .... hair stylist
Sallie Evans .... makeup artist
Marina Forero .... assistant hair stylist: Colombia
Magdalen Gaffney .... makeup artist
Paula Gillespie .... key hair stylist
Anna Mercedes Goez .... assistant makeup artist: Colombia
María Mercedes Herrera .... assistant makeup artist: Colombia
Geraldine Jones .... hair stylist
Stephanie Kaye .... hair stylist
Ken Lintott .... makeup artist
Tommie Manderson .... makeup supervisor
Wendy Rawson .... hair stylist
Flore Marina Sandoval .... assistant hair stylist: Colombia
Production Management
Máximo Berrondo .... production manager: Argentina unit
Barrie Melrose .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Salvatore Basile .... assistant director: Colombia (as Salvo Basile)
Claudia Gomez .... assistant director: Colombia
Uberto Pasolini .... third assistant director
Gerry Toomey .... second assistant director
Bill Westley .... first assistant director
Kevin Westley .... additional second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Michael Bacon .... property maker
Edgardo Benvenuto .... painter: Argentina
Frank Berlin .... supervising painter
Paul Bradburn .... dressing props
Darryl Carter .... stagehand
Jack Carter .... construction manager
Norman Carter .... carpenter
John Chisholm .... stand-by propman: Argentina
John Cook .... stagehand
Jorge Dager .... assistant construction manager: Colombia
Trevor Dyer .... carpenter
Luis de Feo .... sculptor: Argentina
Ian Giladjian .... production buyer
John Graham .... supervising chargehand
Brian Hamer .... painter
John Hedges .... carpenter
Michael Hedges .... assistant construction manager
Ron Herbert .... carpenter
Andrew Holder .... sculptor
Michael Howlett .... metal worker
Thomas Hughes .... painter
Brian Humphrey .... supervising chargehand
Gordon Izod .... plasterer
Derek Knowler .... property storeman
Ken Langridge .... stagehand
Joe Lear .... supervising plasterer
Carlo Maggi .... plasterer
Bernie Mayor .... carpenter
Peter Melrose .... scenic art director
Dave Midson .... stand-by props (as David Midson)
Richard Morrison .... graphic designer
Eric Nash .... plasterer
Cleo Nethersole .... drapes master
John Palmer .... stand-by props
Malcolm Roberts .... assistant construction manager
Mickey Spence .... supervising plasterer (as Michael Spence)
Jack Stephens .... set dresser
Ivano Todeschi .... painter
Peter Voysey .... sculptor
Terry Wells Jr. .... dressing props
Terry Wells .... property master
Vic Woods .... painter
María Helena Álvarez .... assistant property buyer: Colombia
Keith Smith .... stagehand (uncredited)
Sound Department
Christopher Ackland .... sound editor (as Chris Ackland)
Allan Brereton .... boom operator
Martin Evans .... dialogue editor
Ian Fuller .... dubbing editor
Darryl Jordan .... assistant sound editor
Ray Merrin .... assistant dubbing mixer
Nick Moore .... assistant dialogue editor
Ric O'Connor .... assistant dubbing editor
Michael Parkinson .... assistant sound editor
Bill Rowe .... dubbing mixer
Trevor Rutherford .... sound maintenance
Hernando Tejada .... sound assistant: Columbia
Clive Winter .... sound mixer
Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Steve Crawley .... special effects wireman
Peter Fern .... special effects technician
Martin Gant .... special effects senior technician
Peter Hutchinson .... special effects supervisor
Peter Skehan .... special effects technician
Andrew Smith .... special effects technician
Marco Yepes .... special effects assistant: Columbia unit
Visual Effects by
Costas Charitou .... opticals: Camera Effects Ltd (uncredited)
David Smith .... optical cameraman (uncredited)
Vic Armstrong .... stunt coordinator
Jordi Casares .... stunts
Billy Horrigan .... stunts
Niamh McAnally .... stunt assistant
Bronco McLoughlin .... stunts
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Felipe Aljure .... assistant camera: Colombia
David Appleby .... unit still photographer
John Barry .... electrician
Peter Bloor .... chief electrician
Paul Borg .... electrician
Luis Bowie .... rigger: Colombia
Tony Cridlin .... camera grip
John Field .... rigger
Bill Geddes .... camera grip
Jeremy Gee .... focus puller
Fred Harris .... camera grip
Jeffrey Khan .... rigger (as Jeff Kahn)
Eddie Knight .... best boy
Agapios Louka .... camera maintenance
Tom McDougal .... clapper loader
Billy Merrell .... electrician (as William Merrell)
Stewart Monteith .... electrician
Mark Moriarty .... clapper loader: second unit
Eamonn O'Keeffe .... focus puller: second unit (as Eamonn O'Keefe)
William Richards .... rigger (as Bill Richards)
Dave Ridout .... electrician (as David Ridout)
Mike Roberts .... camera operator
Frank Sheeky .... electrician (as Frank Sheekey)
Dave Skinner .... rigger (as David Skinner)
Tom Taylor .... clapper loader
Robin Vidgeon .... director of photography: second unit
Jan Pester .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Thomas Casterline .... wardrobe master
Silvana Cocuccione .... seamstress
Betty Heyman .... set costumer
Adriana Mattiozzi .... seamstress
Anna Orazi .... wardrobe mistress
Uliva Pizzetti .... assistant wardrobe
Angelica Placanica .... seamstress
Giovanni Viti .... wardrobe master
Giancarlo Colis .... costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Adam Masters .... cutting room trainee
Bryan Oates .... first assistant editor
Tony Tromp .... second assistant editor
Location Management
Philip Kohler .... location unit manager
David Nichols .... location unit manager
Pamela Wells .... location unit manager
Hugh O'Donnell .... location assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
David Bedford .... choral director
Dick Lewzey .... music mixer
Ennio Morricone .... conductor
Ennio Morricone .... orchestrator
Maxwell Pryce .... musical director: Barnet Schools Choir
Geoffrey Shaw .... choral director
Edgar Avilan Caceres .... conductor of Indian choir: Colombia (uncredited)
Greg Fulginiti .... music engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation manager
Carlos Fuentes .... transportation assistant: Colombia
Ham Khan .... transportation manager: Argentina
Other crew
Alicia Aghazarian .... production secretary: Argentina
Mo Anthoine .... climber
Bill Appleby .... caterer
Simon Atherton .... armorer
Pablo Azcona .... production assistant: Argentina
Alejandro Azzano .... production executive: Argentina
Diego Baracchini .... unit publicist: Argentina
Joe Brown .... supervising rock climber
Joan Bull .... nurse
Judi Bunn .... production coordinator
Nancu Burke .... assistant publicist: Colombia
Paul Caldicott .... catering supervisor
Vicenzo Cancellara .... chief dyer
Gonzalo Catalan .... production assistant: Argentina
Álvaro Pablo Cepeda .... Indian administrator: Colombia
Ricardo Cifuentes .... production assistant: Colombia
Gary Clark .... unit doctor (as Dr. Gary Clark)
Teresa Colman .... assistant to producer
Hazel Crombie .... location accountant
Evaldo Eleuteri .... production assistant: Argentina
José Luis Entín .... legal consultant: Argentina
Gonzalo Gainza .... unit physician: Argentina
Augusto Grassi .... shoe man
Brian Harris .... production accountant
David Herbert .... unit doctor (as Dr. David Herbert)
Lil Heyman .... unit runner (as Elizabeth Heyman)
Gilly Hodson .... publicist
Christine Hoy .... assistant accountant
Carolyn Jardine .... publicist
John Kay .... unit runner
Sylvia Keenan .... production secretary: Argentina
Alan Kingham .... second kitchen supervisor
Jacqueline Lemaitre Basile .... production assistant: Colombia
Elvira de Lequerica .... production assistant: Colombia
Felipe López Caballero .... production executive: Colombia
Franco Martini .... production assistant: Argentina
Frank McGill .... chef
Hamish McInnes .... climber
Mario Mejía .... assistant catering supervisor: Colombia
Jorge Messutti .... financial consultant: Argentina
Richard Morrison .... title designer
Sylvie Nante .... assistant publicist: Argentina
Roberto Nardini .... fiberglass expert: Argentina
Laura Obligado .... interpreter: Argentina
Jodie de Onis .... production assistant: Colombia
Rex Payton .... caterer
Pat Rambaut .... continuity
Liliana Ramírez .... accounting assistant: Argentina
María Ramírez .... interpreter: Argentina
Marta Riveira .... production assistant: Colombia
Claudia Ruiz .... production assistant: Colombia
John Sargent .... production accountant
Marija Sargent .... assistant accountant
Carl Schmidt .... armorer
Gerda Schmidt .... nurse: Argentina
Sheila Slate .... contact: London
Lucía Spragge .... production assistant: Colombia
Ann Tasker .... unit publicist (as Anne Tasker)
Judy Thomson .... unit runner
James Townshend .... machinist (as Jim Townshend)
Fernando Umana .... Indian administrator: Colombia
Peter Wallace .... acting coach: Indians
Kevin Warwick .... machinist
David Williams .... supervising rigger (as David Williams)
Hector Babenco .... thanks
Tom Birmingham .... thanks
Jorge Blanco .... thanks
Alex Bright .... thanks
Philip Caraman .... thanks (as Philip Caraman S.J.)
Mary Costello .... thanks
Maria Cristina De Mejia .... thanks
Eduardo Fleming .... thanks
John Horton .... thanks
David Joy .... thanks
James Lee .... special thanks
Sanford Lieberson .... special thanks (as Sandy Lieberson)
Miguel Ángel Lumaldo .... thanks
Mario Mariani .... thanks
George Martin .... thanks
Maríaemma Mejía de Caballero .... thanks
Federico Mirre .... thanks
Brian Moser .... thanks
Doris Plummer .... thanks
Francisco Ramalho .... thanks
Bernabe Richter .... in memory of
John Robson .... thanks
Mrs. Nohemí Sanín Posada .... thanks
Clive Syddall .... thanks
Andrew Taie .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
125 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Chuck Low was dubbed by Fred Melamed. Low is a friend of De Niro's and has played supporting roles in many of his films.See more »
Continuity: During the attack of the mission by the Portuguese, the monstrance held by Father Gabriel is different between shots.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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ennio Morricone: TVC Perth Concert (2012) (TV)See more »
Gabriel's OboeSee more »


Why does Mendoza haul the armor in the netting?
See more »
55 out of 88 people found the following review useful.
Roland Joffe's follow up to the masterful The Killing Fields is well-crafted and often easy to admire, but ultimately comes up a bit short., 1 May 2005
Author: Li-1

Rating: ** 1/2 out of ****

Back in 1984, Roland Joffe accomplished the near impossible; his major motion picture debut, The Killing Fields, defied every expectation typically associated with neophyte filmmakers and what Joffe delivered was one of the most powerful and moving films I've ever seen. So it's no surprise I highly anticipated his follow-up film, The Mission, and it's obvious that by bringing back the same team (producer David Puttnam, cinematographer Chris Menges, and editor Jim Clark), they attempted to capture the proverbial "lightning in a bottle" a second time. Unfortunately, the end product isn't quite cinematic magic.

Set in the 18th century, Jeremy Irons stars as Father Gabriel, one of several Spanish Jesuit priests (including Liam Neeson) assigned to convert the Guarini tribe of South America into Christians. His efforts are gradual, but successful. Converging with this story is Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), a slave trader who seeks penance after killing his own brother in a fit of rage. For all the Guarini that he has killed or sold off into slavery, they still show compassion and forgiveness towards him, and he is accepted into the mission, even converting into a Jesuit priest under the guidance of Father Gabriel.

The priests and the Guarini natives eventually find themselves in heated discussion with politicians and slave-owners, who are debating over whether the mission should fall under the rule of Portugal, thus endangering all the Guarini with the possibility of being made into slaves. Determined to prevent such an action at any cost, Mendoza takes up his sword once more, coming into conflict with Father Gabriel's peaceful approach.

The Mission was released in 1986 with little success in theaters, despite garnering a respectable 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Since then, it's developed a devoted fan base who consider it among the most underrated films of the decade. As much as I'd like to, I can't quite agree. Though a respectable and often beautifully crafted effort, the film ultimately comes up short in human interest and emotions, with Joffe often favoring lingering shots of lush jungle scenery and needlessly overlong political machinations involving secondary characters whom we couldn't care less about.

The film is divided into three acts, the first, involving the spiritual transformation of Mendoza, is easily the most compelling. Despite De Niro's occasionally stilted performance (his delivery of some of the dialogue, particularly "Are you laughing at me?" still makes me cringe), his emotional torment is heartfelt and absorbing and his acceptance into the mission is genuinely moving. It's almost all downhill from there.

The build-up in the second act is initially effective, with the heated debate over the Guarini engrossing, but the conflict eventually loses steam when we're subjected to dull, endless dialogue that grows inadvertently confusing even as it intends to clear up the matters at hand. It's also in the middle segment the film loses its human focus and all that's really left is the question of will they or won't they fight.

The third act is the inevitable battle, and while there are a few powerful moments amidst the chaos, the sequence is a badly choreographed mess. The editing also feels a little rough, with quite a few scenes feeling like they clocked in a little too soon (the sudden transition after Irons' "God is love!" line is disjointed, to say the least). The Guarini are never developed beyond the typical "noble savage" portrayal, so it's difficult to feel for their plight beyond the fact that their forced subjugation and mass slaughter is a heinous crime. I wanted to feel more for them, but they're merely a backdrop for the more seasoned cast.

As Father Gabriel, Jeremy Irons is superb, unquestionably one of the film's consistent bright spots. It's unfortunate he's never that well-developed in any of the film's separate acts, but his performance alone is able to draw us in even if the script lets him (and the audience) down. In supporting roles, Ray McAnally and Liam Neeson are excellent, though a bit limited in screen time. For Neeson, this was more of a hint of greater things to come.

Ennio Morricone's score deserves a special mention; whatever emotions Joffe is unable to convey on screen, Morricone's music can conjure in just a few notes. It's one of the most beautiful scores I've had the pleasure to listen to, especially in segments with oboe and flute. The chorus in the background is perhaps a bit much, but an overpowering score can do wonders in a film otherwise unable to muster all the intended emotions.

Joffe's work in the film is still overall quite solid, but he completely lost his footing soon afterward, losing a grip on his career with a long string of critical and financial disasters, including Super Mario Bros., The Scarlet Letter, and Goodbye Lover. I'm convinced The Killing Fields was not a fluke, but the sign of a genuine auteur who showed his prowess thanks to a brilliant script and cast. Blend those two elements with his natural skills and I'm sure we'll get a film worthy of mention alongside his debut. Let's just hope this happens sooner rather than later.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (196 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Mission (1986)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
massive plot hole? - contains spoilers! mazoldboy
Is this an atheist film? AlbinoAl
The Score! bmw2009
some context capellan-13760
Vatican movie list danfinocchio
no matter what the critics say... nozomiheiwa
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Cobra Verde Aguirre, the Wrath of God Gandhi Avatar The New World
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.