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At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

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Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »

Director:

Hector Babenco

Writers:

Peter Matthiessen (based on the novel by), Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Lewis Moon
John Lithgow ... Leslie Huben
Daryl Hannah ... Andy Huben
Aidan Quinn ... Martin Quarrier
Tom Waits ... Wolf
Kathy Bates ... Hazel Quarrier
Stênio Garcia Stênio Garcia ... Boronai
Nelson Xavier ... Father Xantes
José Dumont José Dumont ... Commandante Guzman
Niilo Kivirinta Niilo Kivirinta ... Billy Quarrier
S. Yriwana Karaja S. Yriwana Karaja ... Aeore
Jose Renato Lana Jose Renato Lana ... Uyuyu
Ruy Polanah Ruy Polanah ... Kori
Carlos Xavante Carlos Xavante ... Tukanu
Ione Machado Ione Machado ... Pindi
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Storyline

Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, before the natives murdered them all. They are sent by the pompous Leslie Huben, who runs the missionary effort in the area but who seems more concerned about competing with his Catholic 'rivals' than in the Indians themselves. Hazel is terrified of the Indians while Martin is fascinated. Soon American pilot Lewis Moon joins the Indian tribe but is attracted by Leslie's young wife, Andy. Can the interaction of these characters and cultures, and the advancing bulldozers of civilization, avoid disaster? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An adventure beyond the limits of civilization, faith and passion.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Brazil

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jugando en los campos del Señor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,162, 6 December 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,342,903
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Saul Zaentz Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To study for his role as a Christian missionary, Aidan Quinn went undercover with the Wycliffe Bible Translator group in Belem, Brazil, passing himself off as a born again Christian from the American Midwest. See more »

Quotes

Martin Quarrier: The next time you strike an Indian for any reason whatsoever, it is you who is going to be sent away. They are different from us, they don't understand! And besides that, it could be very dangerous for us all.
Hazel Quarrier: Do you want Billy seeing their filthy tricks?
Martin Quarrier: It will not seem filthy to him unless we make it so. Honey, it is very natural.
Hazel Quarrier: Natural? And if one of those nasty little savages puts a hand on him?
Martin Quarrier: Then he might enjoy it.
See more »


Soundtracks

Just an Echo in the Valley
Music by Harry M. Woods
Lyrics by Reginald Connelly
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Greek tragedy in the Amazon
22 August 1999 | by bornilonSee all my reviews

In "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", the remarkable Hector Babenco (Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman) paints a portrait of disillusion and despair on a canvas of sun-dappled green.

This is no mere tract on the consequences of cultural imperialism, but an examination of the myriad ways in which human folly, ignorance and arrogance (with an assist from the heedless juggernaut of Nature) conspire to overcome idealism, innocence, and the fragile constructs of civilization. This is not a "feel-good" flick, but it is a powerful and affecting one.

The actors involved--including Tom Berenger, Aidann Quinn, John Lithgow and Daryl Hannah (!)--all give intelligent and well-modulated performances. And, once again, the astonishing Kathy Bates blows everyone else away with her wrenching turn as Quinn's reluctant (and ultimately devastated) wife.

The film is long, dark and stubbornly pessimistic-- but also visually lush and emotionally cathartic; ultimately, the viewer will find it unforgettable.


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