7.5/10
51,677
207 user 60 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)
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Popularity
4,666 ( 297)

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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
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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 movie uses the Spanish honorific "Don" as a translation of the English "Lord" or "Mister", leading to Cabeza being repeatedly addressed as "Don Cabeza". "Cabeza" is a surname and "Don" is used only before a first name. The correct Spanish equivalent would be "Señor Cabeza". 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 »


Soundtracks

Gabriel's Oboe
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Condensed history
13 June 2002 | by haskoSee all my reviews

While at college I was given the assignment of producing a 30 minute talk on the 'Guarana Republic' which is off course the subject matter of this movie. Hailing from the Protestant part of Europe I had never even heard about this aspect of Jesuit missionary work before, but as I researched the matter I became fascinated. So when I heard that a movie had been made about this topic I went to see it as soon as possible. Knowing how the film industry tended to treat historical events I was somewhat suspicious, but I was pleasantly surprised. This movie instantly became one of my all time favourites. I think the subject matter is handled sensitively and sensibly and the cinematography is stunning. What also impressed me was the clever way in which this story, which in reality spanned several generations, was compressed into a period of about ten years without becoming unbelievable. Even in a two hour movie there is a limit on what one can touch on, but I think that a good balance between dialogue, adventure, action, and character development, was struck. Even so if the movie would have lasted another hour I would still have been happy (perhaps even happier).


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