The Missionary (1982) Movie

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Ratings / Votes
6.1/ 10 (1284 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company
HandMade Films [gb]

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(USA) - 2 November 1982
(Australia) - 21 January 1983
(Ireland) - 22 July 1983
(Sweden) - 11 November 1983
(Finland) - 21 September 1984

Running Time

He gave his body to save their souls. 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.

accidental-shooting, africa, aristocrat, attempted-poisoning, attraction, bedroom, bicycle, bishop, boxing, brothel, butler, country-house, desperation, engagement, england, hitman, husband-wife-relationship, independent-film, london-england, memory-loss, murder-plot, nobility, photo-album-epilogue, prostitute, religion,

Technical Support
MET:82 m
OFM:35 mm
PCS:J-D-C Scope
PFM:35 mm
RAT:2.35 : 1

Related Pictures

Pictures of The Missionary (1982) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Barr, Jason (III) as [Small Boy at Mudflats] <27>
  2. Barrett, John (III) as [Old Man outside Hotel] <15>
  3. Bourke, Peter as [Best Man at Wedding] <32>
  4. Bumstead, Edmund as [Small Boy at Mudflats] <28>
  5. Bux, Ishaq as [Maharajah] <39>
  6. Crowden, Graham as [The Reverend Fitzbanks] <6>
  7. Culver, Roland as [Lord Fermleigh] <11>
  8. Curry, Julian (I) as [Portland, first friend of Raggy Masterson] <37>
  9. Dixon, David (I) as [Young Man] <42>
  10. Elliott, Denholm as [The Bishop] <4>
  11. Fawcett, Tony as [Small Boy at Mudflats] <26>
  12. Fortune, John (I) as (voice) [Schoolmaster's voice] <46>
  13. Fraser, Hugh (I) as [Usher at Wedding] <31>
  14. Hordern, Michael as [Slatterthwaite/Narrator] <5>
  15. Howard, Arthur (III) as [Fermleigh's Butler] <35>
  16. Howard, Trevor (I) as [Lord Henry Ames] <3>
  17. Innes, Neil (I) as [Singer in Gin Palace] <14>
  18. Leland, David (I) as [Long Haired Man at Gin Palace] <29>
  19. Lesser, Anton as [Young Man] <43>
  20. Lyons, Derek as (uncredited) [Man on Bicycle]
  21. McKeown, Charles as [Leicester, second friend of Raggy Masterson] <38>
  22. Mills, Frank (II) as [Sir Cyril Everidge] <44>
  23. O Connor, Derrick as [Gym Trainer] <25>
  24. Palin, Michael as [The Reverend Charles Fortescue] <1>
  25. Shah, Yussef as [Maharajah's Boy] <45>
  26. Spall, Timothy as [Parswell] <13>
  27. Steedman, Tony as [Lord Quimby] <40>
  28. Suchet, David as [Corbett] <7>
  29. Walters, Hugh as [Fermleigh's Doctor] <36>
  30. Archibald, Dawn as [Mission Girl] <16>
  31. Barber, Frances as [Mission Girl] <17>
  32. Bishop, Debby as (as Debbie Bishop) [Mission Girl] <18>
  33. Duvitski, Janine as [Millicent, Ames' Maid] <33>
  34. George, Tricia as [Ada] <9>
  35. Greenwood, Rosamund as [Lady Fermleigh] <12>
  36. Hayman, Damaris as [Lady Quimby] <41>
  37. Jackson, Ceri as [Mission Girl] <19>
  38. Lesley, Janine as [Mission Girl] <20>
  39. Marriott, Anne-Marie as [Emily, Fitzbanks' Maid] <30>
  40. Mitchell, Sasha (II) as [Mission Girl] <21>
  41. Morgan, Francine as [Mission Girl] <22>
  42. Nicholls, Phoebe as [Deborah Fitzbanks] <8>
  43. Smith, Maggie (I) as [Lady Isabel Ames] <2>
  44. Thompson, Sophie (I) as [Mission Girl] <23>
  45. Vosburgh, Tilly as [Fermleigh's Maid] <34>
  46. Watkins, Sally (I) as [Mission Girl] <24>
  47. Whittington, Valerie (I) as [Emmeline] <10>


  1. Comedy

Full Plot

In 1905, after 10 years of missionary work in Africa, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled to England, where his bishop gives him his new assignment - to minister to London's prostitutes. Charles hopes Deborah, his fiancee, 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 Ames 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... James Barrett Plot not found

Total Business

GR: USD 7,241,180 (USA) (5 December 1982) GR: USD 6,398,559 (USA) (28 November 1982) GR: USD 5,121,400 (USA) (21 November 1982) GR: USD 3,890,388 (USA) (14 November 1982) GR: USD 1,864,852 (USA) (7 November 1982) GR: USD 7,241,180 (USA) OW: USD 1,864,852 (USA) (7 November 1982) (532 screens) WG: USD 580,350 (USA) (5 December 1982) (460 screens) WG: USD 894,850 (USA) (28 November 1982) (407 screens) WG: USD 853,918 (USA) (21 November 1982) (393 screens) WG: USD 1,311,391 (USA) (14 November 1982) (528 screens) WG: USD 1,864,852 (USA) (7 November 1982) (532 screens)

Movie Certificate

15 (UK)
L (Iceland)
M (Australia)
K-16 (Finland)
7 (Sweden)

Music Composers

  1. Moran, Mike (I)


  1. Hannan, Peter (I)

Dress Designers

  1. Harwood, Shuna


Anchor Bay Entertainment (UK) [gb] - (2002) (UK) (DVD)
CIC Video [gb] - (1996) (UK) (VHS)
Cannon Video [gb] - (1987) (UK) (VHS)
Columbia Pictures [us] - (1982) (USA) (theatrical)
H.O.M. Vision [nl] - (2001) (Netherlands) (DVD)
HandMade Films [gb] - (1982) (UK) (theatrical)
Umbrella Entertainment [au] - (2009) (Australia) (DVD)
Umbrella Entertainment [au] - (2009) (Australia) (video) (VOD)

Film Editors

  1. Green, Paul (I)


  1. Sykes, Kathy (I) (assistant to producers)


The Bishop: I tried to teach the rudiments of rugby football. But it wasn't really their sort of thing. They hang on to the ball for too long. Weeks, sometimes. Ada: Most o' my boys just want company... a bit o' cheerin' up. I'm like a mother to 'em! Only they can't fuck their mothers so they come 'ere. [On her husband's dying] Lady Fermleigh: It was really a breach of manners. He's never done it before. Slatterthwaite: You can't miss it, sir. Turn right out of the station. Or left. Lord Ames: I once had a chap before me who'd been caught stealing from the mess. I ordered every alternate fingernail to be removed, and you know, I still get a card from him every Christmas. Lord Ames: You see, what I think is wrong with the country today is that there aren't enough people chained up. [Writing to The Times on how to treat the poor] Lord Ames: Are there two "l"s in "disembowelment"? Deborah Fitzbanks: Everyone was asking after you. They're all terribly excited about the wedding. Reverend Fortescue: Wedding? Deborah Fitzbanks: OUR wedding! Reverend Fortescue: Oh, yes... Yes. Reverend Fortescue: I shall be looking after women... Women who are in... moral trouble. Deborah Fitzbanks: Liars? Reverend Fortescue: Deborah, do you know what is meant by "fallen women"? Deborah Fitzbanks: Women who have hurt their knees. Reverend Fortescue: I'm going to remain a missionary. Deborah Fitzbanks: But I thought... Reverend Fortescue: A missionary IN ENGLAND! Deborah Fitzbanks: But everyone's ENGLISH in England. Reverend Fortescue: The locals had never seen a bicycle before. They used to call me "The Man on the Starving Horse." Reverend Fortescue: Vicki... Violet: Violet. Reverend Fortescue: Er, Violet. Would you and Ruby... Rosie: Rosie. Reverend Fortescue: Rosie. Go and clean upstairs, and get some help from the three girls in my bed. [about Slatterthwaite] Lord Ames: He really is the most disastrous butler. Can't we get rid of him? Lady Isabel Ames: Of course we can't. He's been here for 25 years. Lord Ames: I don't know why we ever got rid of Marcheson. Lady Isabel Ames: You know perfectly well why we got rid of Marcheson. Lord Ames: That was only a bit of harmless fun. Lady Isabel Ames: Not for the parents. Lady Isabel Ames: Fetch the coaches, will you? Corbett: Oh, I love it when you give me orders. Lady Isabel Ames: [annoyed] NOW! Reverend Fortescue: Isabel? Lady Isabel Ames: Charles! What are you doing here? Reverend Fortescue: I've come to stop you. Lady Isabel Ames: How dare you? How dare you interfere with my plans? Reverend Fortescue: You mustn't kill him. Lady Isabel Ames: Why not? What business is it of yours, interfering priest? Reverend Fortescue: You could hang for it. Lady Isabel Ames: No one's going to hang. It's a simple shooting accident. Reverend Fortescue: Isabel, this is England in 1906. People don't go around killing each other just because they don't get on! Lady Isabel Ames: No, they just endure don't they? Stiff upper lip, that's the British way. I'm sure it wasn't like that in Africa. Reverend Fortescue: Africa's primitive! Lady Isabel Ames: Oh, yes. God save us from being primitive. Reverend Fortescue: There's not so much wrong with the British way, for your class especially. Lady Isabel Ames: My class? This is not my class, Charles. Reverend Fortescue: You know what I mean. Lady Isabel Ames: You don't know what *I* mean. [Adopts a changed accent and demeanor] Lady Isabel Ames: You alone, sir? Want some company? Clean and cheap? [She returns to normal, Fortescue is speechless] Lady Isabel Ames: Yes. I've disguised it well, haven't I? I had to. The honest tart never gets anywhere. No, they're not my bloody class, thank God! [Attempting to talk her out of a dangerous plan] Reverend Fortescue: Isabel, I... Lady Isabel Ames: Please, don't. I don't want to be understood. [pauses] Not now. Reverend Fortescue: What are you going to do? What are you going to gain from this? [Isabel begins to say something, tearfully sighs, and walks out the door] [Isabel has been injured] Reverend Fortescue: I'm sorry. Dear, God, I'm so sorry. Lady Isabel Ames: You were only trying to do the decent thing. [Fortescue begins to drape his coat around her] Lady Isabel Ames: No, don't Charles. [He continues anyway] Lady Isabel Ames: That's the trouble with you. You're far too decent. Lady Isabel Ames: I got it all wrong, didn't I? Reverend Fortescue: What do you mean? Lady Isabel Ames: I tried to convert the missionary.

Other Titles

  1. Der Missionar (1985) (ENG)
    (West Germany)

  2. Il missionario (1982) (ENG)

  3. The Missionary Position (1982) (ENG)
    (UK) (working title)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire, England, UK - (uncreditied)
  2. Ardverikie House, Ardverikie estate, Highland, Scotland, UK
  3. Ezra Street, Bethnal Green, London, England, UK
  4. Finsbury, London, England, UK
  5. Kenya
  6. Longleat House, Wiltshire, England, UK
  7. Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK - (studio)
  8. Southwark, London, England, UK
  9. Wapping, London, England, UK


- Final feature film of actor 'Roland Culver' (qv).

- 'George Harrison (I)' (qv) and 'Ringo Starr' (qv) both visited the set.

- Whilst filming at Longleat House in Wiltshire, 'Michael Hordern' (qv) asked to get off the set early because there was a trout stream nearby and he was an experienced trout fisherman. Later that day, the cast and crew had a barbecue with the fish Hordern caught.

- In order to create the effect of a 1906 street, the production built a facade of terrace houses in a bombed section of London near Columbia Road Flower Market. One day, director 'Richard Loncraine' (qv) saw an old woman, who looked sad and upset, glancing at the houses. When asked, she responded, "My house came back". The woman maintained that the house was the one that she had been born in.

- Debut feature film of actor 'David Suchet' (qv) and actresses 'Frances Barber' (qv) and 'Sophie Thompson (I)' (qv) who both played mission girls

- According to 'Michael Palin' (qv) diaries, 'Freddie Jones (I)' (qv) was attached to this project but pulled out.

- 'Peter Vaughn (II)' (qv) filmed his role in one day (Source: 'Michael Palin' (qv)'s diaries).

- 'John Gielgud' (qv) turned down the