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At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

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Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Quarrier
Stênio Garcia ...
Father Xantes
José Dumont ...
Commandante Guzman
Niilo Kivirinta ...
Billy Quarrier
S. Yriwana Karaja ...
Jose Renato Lana ...
Ruy Polanah ...
Carlos Xavante ...
Ione Machado ...


Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, before the natives murdered them all. They are sent by the pompous Leslie Huben, who runs the missionary effort in the area but who seems more concerned about competing with his Catholic 'rivals' than in the Indians themselves. Hazel is terrified of the Indians while Martin is fascinated. Soon American pilot Lewis Moon joins the Indian tribe but is attracted by Leslie's young wife, Andy. Can the interaction of these characters and cultures, and the advancing bulldozers of civilization, avoid disaster? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An adventure beyond the limits of civilization, faith and passion.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jugando en los campos del Señor  »

Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)


$1,342,903 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Laura Dern had been cast as Andy Huben but pulled out due to having to swim in a parasite-filled river as part of the role. Daryl Hannah replaced her. See more »


Leslie Huben: Moon, you're under the influence of a dangerous drug, we need to know where you are.
Lewis Moon: I'm at play... in the fields of the Lord. At play... in the fields... of the Lord...
See more »


Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »


Just an Echo in the Valley
Music by Harry M. Woods
Lyrics by Reginald Connelly
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Greek tragedy in the Amazon
22 August 1999 | by (michigan, usa) – See all my reviews

In "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", the remarkable Hector Babenco (Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman) paints a portrait of disillusion and despair on a canvas of sun-dappled green.

This is no mere tract on the consequences of cultural imperialism, but an examination of the myriad ways in which human folly, ignorance and arrogance (with an assist from the heedless juggernaut of Nature) conspire to overcome idealism, innocence, and the fragile constructs of civilization. This is not a "feel-good" flick, but it is a powerful and affecting one.

The actors involved--including Tom Berenger, Aidann Quinn, John Lithgow and Daryl Hannah (!)--all give intelligent and well-modulated performances. And, once again, the astonishing Kathy Bates blows everyone else away with her wrenching turn as Quinn's reluctant (and ultimately devastated) wife.

The film is long, dark and stubbornly pessimistic-- but also visually lush and emotionally cathartic; ultimately, the viewer will find it unforgettable.

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