6.2/10
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21 user 6 critic

The Missionary (1982)

R | | Comedy | 5 November 1982 (USA)
Trailer
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

According to Michael Palin diaries, Freddie Jones was attached to this project but pulled out. See more »

Quotes

Slatterthwaite: You can't miss it, sir. Turn right out of the station. Or left.
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

 
Is it OK to laugh at this?
21 June 2008 | by graham_525See all my reviews

I really like this film. It's just one of those films that bring a smile to your face. There are some fantastic moments: Roland Culver dying while Michael Palin obliviously continues with his speech, Michael Hordern as the butler who doesn't know where he's going, Michael Palin being propositioned by a lady of the night (and accepting). It's just a very charming film.

One thing that did strike me about it though is how we find situations acceptable if they are transported into the past. I don't think it would be considered very funny to make a film in which a Reverend lets three child prostitutes into his bed at once if it was set in today's London. We can laugh about the hypocritical sexual shenanigans of the Victorians though. Paedophilia's funny as long as it's in the distant past.


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