6.2/10
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The Missionary (1982)

R | | Comedy | 5 November 1982 (USA)
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1:35 | Trailer

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In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes.... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Loncraine

Writer:

Michael Palin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Palin ... The Reverend Charles Fortescue
Maggie Smith ... Lady Isabel Ames
Trevor Howard ... Lord Henry Ames
Denholm Elliott ... The Bishop
Michael Hordern ... Slatterthwaite / Narrator
Graham Crowden ... The Reverend Fitzbanks
David Suchet ... Corbett
Phoebe Nicholls ... Deborah Fitzbanks
Tricia George ... Ada
Valerie Whittington Valerie Whittington ... Emmeline
Roland Culver ... Lord Fermleigh
Rosamund Greenwood Rosamund Greenwood ... Lady Fermleigh
Timothy Spall ... Parswell
Neil Innes Neil Innes ... Singer in Gin Palace
John Barrett ... Old Man outside Hotel
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Storyline

In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes. Charles hopes Deborah, his fiancee, will object and give him an excuse to say no to the bishop. But she is so imperturbably innocent that she totally fails to understand what he is being asked to do, and urges him to do his best. Wealthy Lady Ames is expected to fund the work, but once she makes it clear to Charles that there will be no contribution unless he shares her bed... Written by James Barrett <jbarrett@sbastk.ess.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gave his body to save their souls. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A misszionárius See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,864,852, 7 November 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,241,180
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two star teamings of actress Maggie Smith and actor Michael Palin. The second would be A Private Function (1984) around two years later. Actor Denholm Elliott appeared in both movies as well, as did another, Charles McKeown. See more »

Quotes

Reverend Fortescue: I shall be looking after women... Women who are in... moral trouble.
Deborah Fitzbanks: Liars?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pay close attention to the photo album during the end credits, the photos reveal details about the characters after the events of the film. See more »

Connections

References Chariots of Fire (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Put On Your Ta-Ta Little Girlie
Written and Composed by Fred W. Leigh
Sung by Neil Innes
See more »

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User Reviews

The missionary
17 September 1999 | by Smalling-2See all my reviews

In England in 1906, a young reverend, with a sense of vocation and just before marriage, is entrusted to open a house of refuge for fallen ladies of East End. He is then seduced by the grateful girls and a witty, love-seeking lady nob, who is ready to support the institute.

A fitfully amusing, crisply acted, often sophisticated period comedy whose central conception - prostitutes do what they do for pleasure - is slightly absurd to say the least. Most of its fun is provided by the garnish.


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