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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

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

Lewis Moon: The Lord made Indians the way they are. Who are you people to make them different?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Halfway to Heaven
Written by Nicky Holland, Hal David, Franne Golde
Performed by Céline Dion
Courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Quality cast (and performance), convincing storytelling
3 September 2004 | by Tai FangSee all my reviews

I fell into this movie, broadcast by Belgian 2, in the scene where the evangelists travel up the river. The cast immediately caught the attention: what are all these actors, who usually don't play adventure type characters, doing in the Amazon?! Then Berenger is shown in a kind of nudity I thought US/Hollywood culture forbade. This absence of hypocrisy combined with quality actors made me sit straight. I had already missed a lot, but there was plenty of great and convincing story telling left. People struggle, try over and over to keep on going when things go wrong. Cultures try to interact but fail in different ways. Several of the main characters die of unexpected but reasonable events. And everything is so well set, framed and timed that it keeps watchable. The scene where Bates, dressed as a native exorcist, dances on her grief over a horrible loss was beautiful. There's MAYBE one scene just a bit artificial, where Hannah has pulled up a leg to hide some of her nudity for The Camera: it contrasts with her subsequent confrontation with Moon where she doesn't show any embarrassment.

The supporting acting by natives (mostly people who had only just adapted 'civilization' and who could still remember village life) is surprisingly good. The native language that was created sounds really well, not like any language I've ever heard, and it is spoken consistently as far as I can hear. The final shot is impressive, and the accompanying music sublimely subtle. I really must see the first 30 minutes some time!


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