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The Emerald Forest (1985)

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After the son of engineer Bill Markham is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer spends the next 10 years searching for him.

Director:

John Boorman
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Powers Boothe ... Bill Markham
Meg Foster ... Jean Markham
Yara Vaneau Yara Vaneau ... Young Heather
William Rodriguez ... Young Tommy
Estee Chandler ... Heather
Charley Boorman ... Tomme
Dira Paes ... Kachiri
Eduardo Conde ... Uwe Werner
Ariel Coelho Ariel Coelho ... Padre Leduc
Peter Marinker ... Perreira
Mario Borges Mario Borges ... Costa
Átila Iório Átila Iório ... Trader (as Atilia Iorio)
Gabriel Archanjo Gabriel Archanjo ... Trader's Henchman
Gracindo Júnior Gracindo Júnior ... Carlos (as Gracindo Junior)
Arthur Muhlenberg Arthur Muhlenberg ... Rico
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Storyline

Based on a true story, Powers Boothe plays an American dam engineer in Brazil. Boothe's son (played by Charlie Boorman - son of director John Boorman) is kidnapped by a rain forest tribe, and raised as one of their own. Boothe continues to look for him and after many trials and adventures, stumbles upon him. Written by A. Felhofer <valmytrailslodge@itol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What kind of man would return year after year for ten years to rescue a missing boy from the most savage jungle in the world? His father. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

3 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Smaragdwald See more »

Filming Locations:

Araguaia River, Brazil See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,345,150, 7 July 1985

Gross USA:

$24,468,550
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Many posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "What kind of man would return year after year for ten years to rescue a missing boy from the most savage jungle in the world? His father. 'The Emerald Forest'. Based on a true story." See more »

Quotes

Bill Markham: Why did you take my son?
Wanadi: One day, i was hunting at the Edge of The World when Tomme appeared and he smiled; and even though you were a Termite Child, I had not the heart to send you back to The Dead World.
Tomme: Why are they called The Termite People?
Wanadi: They come into The World and chew down all the grandfather trees. Just like termites.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time of the Apes (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Maior Abandonado
Written by Frejat and Cazuza
Performed by Barão Vermelho
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Exciting, eye-popping Hollywood entertainment
27 January 2009 | by dave-sturmSee all my reviews

This movie supposedly sends an environmental message, and that's certainly true, but if you look closely it's really a fig leaf (like one of those little flaps on a string that constitute the sole bit of clothing worn by the villagers) for an updated Tarzan movie.

That said, this movie is tremendous entertainment. It is exciting almost all the way through. And when it's slow, there are lots of cute teenage girls in the altogether to gaze at. In fact, there's a demographically striking abundance of teenage girls in this particular tribe.

Favorite scene: During the courtship ritual, Tomme is given a club and is supposed "knock out" his girl in front of the villagers and then carry her off into the forest. She cowers. He hesitates, waves the club around. She glares at him and whispers, "Do it right!" So he hits her and she makes a show of being "knocked out." The whole courtship ritual is beautifully staged. I cannot attest to its authenticity, but it's perfectly clear as he "defends" her from menacing dudes, refuses to be carried off by the other girls, etc. The sheer enthusiasm portrayed is remarkable.

Powers Boothe, playing a dam engineer, makes a dashing Trader Horn-type. He has a great scene when he wakes up in the village only to see his son, Tomme, sleeping peaceful and embracing his girl, both practically nude in the next hammock. The expressions that run across his face are priceless.

The Fierce People live up to their name, but I am dubious that people who live in nature can be so infected with violence.

I learned something. You can climb a high-rise by wrapping vines around your feet. Who knew? The dam business at the end was totally righteous, but, really, pretty preposterous.

And how about that shot of the eagle in flight. Taken from about two feet away. Pretty neat.

Terrific Hollywood movie? You bet. Werner Herzog? Not so much.


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