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At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

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 »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sensuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jugando en los campos del Señor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,342,903 (USA)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cameron has acknowledged that the film was a thematic influence for Avatar (2009). See more »

Quotes

Martin Quarrier: The next time you strike an Indian for any reason whatsoever, it is you who is going to be sent away. They are different from us, they don't understand! And besides that, it could be very dangerous for us all.
Hazel Quarrier: Do you want Billy seeing their filthy tricks?
Martin Quarrier: It will not seem filthy to him unless we make it so. Honey, it is very natural.
Hazel Quarrier: Natural? And if one of those nasty little savages puts a hand on him?
Martin Quarrier: Then he might enjoy it.
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Soundtracks

Halfway to Heaven
Written by Nicky Holland, Hal David, Franne Golde
Performed by Céline Dion
Courtesy of Epic Records
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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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