7.5/10
50,063
204 user 59 critic

The Mission (1986)

Eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.

Director:

Roland Joffé

Writer:

Robert Bolt (original story & screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,036 ( 400)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Bercelio Moya ... Indian Boy
Sigifredo Ismare Sigifredo Ismare ... Witch Doctor
Asuncion Ontiveros Asuncion Ontiveros ... Indian Chief
Alejandrino Moya Alejandrino Moya ... Chief's Lieutenant
Daniel Berrigan Daniel Berrigan ... Sebastian
Rolf Gray Rolf Gray ... Young Jesuit
Álvaro Guerrero ... Jesuit
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Storyline

Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors. Written by mattbballman17

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Deep in the jungles of South America two men bring civilization to a native tribe. Now, after years of struggle together, they find themselves on opposite sides in a dramatic fight for the natives' independence. One will trust in the power of prayer. One will believe in the might of the sword.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | Guarani | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La misión See more »

Filming Locations:

Colombia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,366, 31 October 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,218,023
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whilst the film is based on historical events, there is a lack of evidence supporting the storyline that the Jesuit missionaries did not directly disobey the orders of Altamirano, and therefore may not have stayed to fight with their converts. So it would appear the order left as required by the Portuguese before genocide took place. The motives, for which can only be speculated, but possibly for survival of the order, and monarchy influence may have come in to play, as the film suggests. See more »

Goofs

The sloth's head is initially at the man's right shoulder, but then on the left in the next cut. This happens twice. See more »

Quotes

[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... Your Holiness, I write to you in this year of Our Lord 1758 from the southern continent of the Americas, from the town of Asunción, in the Province of La Plata, two weeks march from the great mission of San Miguel. These ...
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Crazy Credits

At the film's very end, after the final credits, Altimarano gives the audience an ambiguous, almost accusing look, as if he were asking it, "Would you or would you not have done this?" See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Ennio Morricone in Conversation (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gabriel's Oboe
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the great epic historical films of all time
27 May 2001 | by Keith F. HatcherSee all my reviews

In `The Mission' Roland Joffé has succeeded in putting together one of the most majestic visual adventures of all time: and a story that had to be told. Chris Menges' sumptuous photography is a feast, such that – for once – the Newsweek quotation on the video cover is superbly apt: `a sweeping spectacle'. The whole film is breathtaking: from the depths of the jungle to the indian villages, from face close-ups to broad panoramas, the visual effects are so powerful that I just cannot think of any other comparable film. Add to that fine interpretations, carefully considered and delivered performances by all concerned with Joffé's exquisite direction, and you have a guarantee of a magnificent production. But that is NOT all there is to this great film: Ennio Morricone's music reaches its greatest power, its most poignant intensity, its most gratifying melodic line, right here in `The Mission', surpassing everything this Italian composer had ever done before – even with his great friend, Sergio Leone. Here Morricone reaches symphonic levels in a wealth of melodic harmonies, such that what is supposedly `only' a visual attraction – a film – becomes also a delight to the ears, bringing a lump to my throat at various moments through this genuinely mighty film. You might wish to compare this film with `1492: a Conquest of Paradise' (1992) in which the best of Vangelis can be heard; but even so, I rate `The Mission' just ahead of `1492'. Both films highly recommendable.


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