6.9/10
3,020
52 user 11 critic

At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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 ... 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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Juán returns to his native Buenos Aires after 20 years to visit his dying father. He tries to find Ana, his old flame of the past.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Miguel Ángel Solá, Maria Luísa Mendonça, Walter Quiroz
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the 1940s, in São Paulo, bohemian guy engages in a love affair with two daughters of a friend of his mother's, but ends up marrying uncongenial woman, with whom he quarrels all the time.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Paulo José, Marília Pêra, Vick Militello
Lucio Flavio (1977)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

History of a famous Brazilian bandit of the early seventies.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Reginaldo Faria, Ana Maria Magalhães, Milton Gonçalves
El pasado (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A couple decides to split after 12 years together. The man (Bernal) find it easy to move on, but difficult to prevent his ex from hounding him, or the new women in his life.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Analía Couceyro, Ana Celentano
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

About the Brazilian formula one racing driver Emerson Fittipaldi at the height of his popularity and the beginning of his career.

Directors: Hector Babenco, Roberto Farias
Stars: Emerson Fittipaldi, Juse Fittipaldi, Wilson Fittipaldi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An elderly lady, living in (literally) the middle of nowhere, and fed up with small minded apartheid ideology, starts escaping into her own world of sculpting in her back yard and along ... See full summary »

Directors: Athol Fugard, Peter Goldsmid
Stars: Yvonne Bryceland, Kathy Bates, Athol Fugard
Pixote (1981)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with crimes, prostitution and drugs.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Diego is a film director very close to death, surrounded by people who are having trouble dealing with his current tempestuous mood. Chances are he won't survive, but if he does, that means he needs to relearn how to live.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Reynaldo Gianecchini
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

On the run from a couple of hit-men, young Johnny Fortune escapes from a life in basement poolrooms to become a dancing bear with the strangest Punch and Judy man in the business.

Directors: Ann Guedes, Eduardo Guedes
Stars: Tom Waits, Damon Lowry, Charlotte Coleman
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An injured, unconscious man washes ashore in a small French town. As he recovers, it becomes quite clear, someone is trying to kill him.

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Jaclyn Smith, Anthony Quayle
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Hector Babenco
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Saul Zaentz first tried to make this film in 1965, only to find that MGM owned the rights. He kept trying to buy them every time there was an administrative change at MGM up until 1989 when new studio heads Jay Kanter and Alan Ladd Jr decided that MGM would not be making the film. Zaentz still had to pay $1.4 million for the rights. 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 »

Connections

Featured in The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Just an Echo in the Valley
Music by Harry M. Woods
Lyrics by Reginald Connelly
See more »

User Reviews

 
All Shoud See And Read
23 December 2007 | by rwmacevoySee all my reviews

I purchased the video of this film after it passed through the theatres so fast I was unable to see it. I had read and reread Peter Matthiessen's award winning book and still gift it to friends and family. The film remained true to the novel. No film can truly portray in three or even in five hours all the complexities that a good writer can express. This film did however do an exceptional job for the time it had.

Some have said this film is anti Protestant, or just anti missionary. That is just too simplistic and misleading a label for this story. There is far more to digest than those labels could ever suggest. Here is the deliberate forced movement or destruction of a tribe to gain gold mining opportunities. This is happening with local government officials looking the other way ignoring current federal obligations to the native population. There is a built in irony that Moon (Tom Berenger) is part Cheyenne Indian. The current South Dakota reservations came about by our government reneging on deals in order to get access to gold in the Black Hills. The result was an ecological and cultural disaster for the Sioux nation.

This film was as about the symbiosis of culture and environment. Missionaries in Micronesia told the islanders in Yap that taboos on fishing were just superstition. An island bio-system that could once support 10,000 people can now not even support 1, 000. Missionaries tell South American tribes that their occasional drug inspired journeys are pure evil. There are ways these ancient cultural traditions can be kept without any threat to Christian doctrine. Instead, especially for western protestant missionaries, conversion is often more about cultural than religious conversion. This results in the ultimate economic and ecological destruction that follows.

Everyone should see this film, and better yet read the incredible book that inspired it.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 52 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Brazil

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At Play in the Fields of the Lord See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,162, 8 December 1991

Gross USA:

$1,345,903

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,345,903
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed