6.2/10
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The Missionary (1982)

R | | Comedy | 5 November 1982 (USA)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
In 1905, after ten years of missionary work in Africa, the Reverend Charles Fortescue (Michael Palin) is recalled to England, where his Bishop gives him his new assignment, to minister to ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Loncraine

Writer:

Michael Palin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Palin ... The Reverend Charles Fortescue
Maggie Smith ... Lady Isabel Ames
Trevor Howard ... Lord Henry Ames
Denholm Elliott ... The Bishop
Michael Hordern ... Slatterthwaite / Narrator
Graham Crowden ... The Reverend Fitzbanks
David Suchet ... Corbett
Phoebe Nicholls ... Deborah Fitzbanks
Tricia George ... Ada
Valerie Whittington Valerie Whittington ... Emmeline
Roland Culver ... Lord Fermleigh
Rosamund Greenwood Rosamund Greenwood ... Lady Fermleigh
Timothy Spall ... Parswell
Neil Innes ... Singer in Gin Palace
John Barrett ... Old Man outside Hotel
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Storyline

In 1905, after ten years of missionary work in Africa, the Reverend Charles Fortescue (Michael Palin) is recalled to England, where his Bishop gives him his new assignment, to minister to London's prostitutes. Charles hopes Deborah Fitzbanks (Phoebe Nicholls), his fiancée, will object and give him an excuse to say no to the Bishop. But she is so imperturbably innocent that she totally fails to understand what he is being asked to do, and urges him to do his best. Wealthy Lady Isabel Ames (Dame Maggie Smith) is expected to fund the work, but once she makes it clear to Charles that there will be no contribution unless he shares her bed. Written by James Barrett <jbarrett@sbastk.ess.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you have a fiancée, a lover and you have to lead 25 women of the night down the path of righteousness.; you must pray for more than guidance, you must pray for strength. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Missionary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,864,852, 7 November 1982

Gross USA:

$7,241,180

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,241,180
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Richard Loncraine has said of this movie that it was "one of the happiest films I've ever made." See more »

Quotes

Lady Isabel Ames: Fetch the coaches, will you?
Corbett: Oh, I love it when you give me orders.
Lady Isabel Ames: [annoyed] NOW!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pay close attention to the photo album during the end credits, the photos reveal details about the characters after the events of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What the Pythons Did Next... (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Put On Your Ta-Ta Little Girlie
Written and Composed by Fred W. Leigh
Sung by Neil Innes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
cool religion
23 December 2009 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Despite the presence of Michael Palin, "The Missionary" is not a Monty Python movie. It certainly doesn't consist of the wry humor that Monty Python did. Rather, it's got the sort of humor where you sometimes have to listen hard to catch the jokes...that is, when the main stuff isn't happening. Palin plays a chaplain who returns from Africa to start a school to help the poor, but has to get on an aristocrat's (Maggie Smith) REALLY good side to acquire the funds. It appears to be the sort of movie that they made to have fun. The movies from George Harrison's company HandMade Films that I've seen (others include "Time Bandits" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") have always been good ones. I certainly recommend this one. Worth seeing.

Also starring Trevor Howard, Denholm Elliott, Michael Hordern, Graham Crowden, David Suchet, Phoebe Nicholls, Tricia George, Valerie Whittington, Roland Culver, Rosamund Greenwood, Timothy Spall and Neil Innes.


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