7.5/10
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203 user 58 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:

Writer:

(original story & screenplay)
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Popularity
3,929 ( 78)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rodrigo Mendoza
... Father Gabriel
... Cardinal Altamirano
... Felipe Mendoza
... Carlotta
... Hontar
... Cabeza
... Fielding
Bercelio Moya ... Indian Boy
Sigifredo Ismare ... Witch Doctor
Asuncion Ontiveros ... Indian Chief
Alejandrino Moya ... Chief's Lieutenant
Daniel Berrigan ... Sebastian
Rolf Gray ... Young Jesuit
... 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:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La misión  »

Filming Locations:

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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 prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released four years after its uncredited source book "The Lost Cities of Paraguay" by Father C. J. McNaspy had been published. McNaspy also acted as a historical consultant to the film's production, which was loosely based on McNaspy's work. 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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Madagascar (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Gabriel's Oboe
Composed by Ennio Morricone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lush Visuals, Score & Fascinating Story All Rolled Into One
23 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

The more I see this film the more I like it. First off, it has magnificent South American jungle scenery, filmed in an area that features multiple gorgeous falls. This is one of the prettiest films you will ever watch - guaranteed - and please see it on widescreen DVD. "The Mission" won the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1986 and that award was well-deserved. There is just one stunning scene after another.

The story is very interesting, too: a supposed true-life account what happened back in the 1700s when a few dedicated priests tried to bring Christianity to the natives. It shows what occurred when a combination of the Catholic Church and the Portugese slave-traders and politicians attempted to put a halt to their missionary. This is a drama, not an "action film," but the movie has extended violent ending, and sometimes is shocking in that finale.

Jeremy Irons, as the dedicated Jesuit who heads the mission, and Robert De Niro in a surprise role as the killer slave-trader-turned-repentant priest are both excellent in their leading roles. It was interesting to see a young Liam Neeson, too.

To some, the story might be a bit slow I found it very involving. After several viewings, I began to fully appreciate to lush score by Ennio Morricone. This is simply one of the prettiest and classiest movies I've seen and it's highly recommended.


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