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The Mission (1986 film)

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Director  Roland Joffe
Music director  Ennio Morricone
Language  English
7.5/10 IMDb

Genre  Adventure, Drama, History
Screenplay  Robert Bolt
Country  United Kingdom
The Mission (1986 film) movie poster
Release date  16 May 1986 (1986-05-16) (Cannes) 31 October 1986 (1986-10-31) (United States)
Writer  Robert Bolt (original story & screenplay)
Cast  Robert De Niro (Rodrigo Mendoza), Jeremy Irons (Father Gabriel), Ray McAnally (Altamirano), Aidan Quinn (Felipe Mendoza), Liam Neeson (Fielding), Cherie Lunghi (Carlotta)
Similar movies  Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible III, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Back to the Future Part III, Kung Fu Panda 2

The mission gabriel s oboe full hd

The Mission is a 1986 British period drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America. Written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffé, the film stars Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi, and Liam Neeson.


The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

It won the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. In April 2007, it was elected number one on the Church Times' Top 50 Religious Films list. Furthermore, it is one of fifteen films listed in the category "Religion" on the Vatican film list. The music, scored by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, ranked 1st on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Classic 100 Music in the Movies.

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

Following mixed to positive reviews from critics, the film (along with Absolute Beginners) bombed at the box office and caused the deterioration of Goldcrest Films.

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

The mission trailer 1986 hq


The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

The film is set in the 1740s and involves Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) who enters the northeastern Argentina and western Paraguayan jungle to build a mission station and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity. The Guaraní community is not initially receptive to Christianity or outsiders in general, shown by the opening scene where they tie a priest to a wooden cross and send him over the Iguazu Falls, a large waterfall they live above. Father Gabriel travels to the falls, climbs to the top, and plays his oboe. The Guaraní warriors, captivated by the music, allow him to live.

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

Mercenary and slaver Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro) makes his living kidnapping natives such as the Guarani community and selling them to nearby plantations, including the plantation of the Spanish Governor Don Cabeza (Chuck Low). After returning from another kidnapping trip Mendoza is told by his assumed fiancée, Carlotta (Cherie Lunghi), that she loves his younger half-brother Felipe (Aidan Quinn). Mendoza later finds them in bed together and in a fit of rage kills Felipe in a duel. Although he is acquitted of the killing by Cabeza, Mendoza spirals into depression. Father Gabriel visits and challenges Mendoza to undertake a suitable penance. Mendoza accompanies the Jesuits on their return journey, dragging a heavy bundle containing his armour and sword. After initially tense moments upon reaching the outskirts of the natives' territory, though they recognize him, the natives embrace a tearful Mendoza and cut away his heavy bundle.

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

Father Gabriel's mission is depicted as a place of sanctuary and education for the Guaraní. Moved by the Guaraní's acceptance, Mendoza wishes to help at the mission and Father Gabriel gives him a Bible. In time, Mendoza takes vows and becomes a Jesuit under Father Gabriel and his colleague Father Fielding (Liam Neeson).

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

The Jesuit missions were safe because they were protected under Spanish law. The Treaty of Madrid (1750) reapportioned South American land the Jesuit missions were located on, transferring the area to the Portuguese who allowed slavery. The Portuguese colonials seek to enslave the natives, and as the independent Jesuit missions might impede this, Papal emissary Cardinal Altamirano (Ray McAnally), a former Jesuit priest himself, is sent from the Vatican to survey the missions and decide which, if any, should be allowed to remain.

The Mission (1986 film) movie scenes

Under pressure from both Cabeza and Portuguese Governor Don Hontar (Ronald Pickup), Cardinal Altamirano is forced to choose between two evils. If he rules in favour of the colonists, the indigenous peoples will become enslaved; if he rules in favour of the missions, the entire Jesuit Order may be condemned by the Portuguese and the European Catholic Church could fracture. Altamirano visits the missions and is amazed at their industry and success, both in converting the Indians and, in some cases, economically. At Father Gabriel's mission of San Carlos he tries to explain the reasons behind closing the mission and instructs the Guaraní that they must leave because it is God's will. The Guaraní question the validity of his claim, and argue God's will was to settle and develop the mission. Father Gabriel and Mendoza, under threat of excommunication, state their intention to defend the mission alongside the Guaraní if the plantation owners and colonists attack. They are, however, divided on how to do this, and they debate how to respond to the impending military attack. Father Gabriel believes that violence is a direct crime against God. Mendoza, however, decides to break his vows to militarily defend the Mission. Against Father Gabriel's wishes, he teaches the natives the European art of war and once more takes up his sword.

When a joint Portuguese and Spanish force attack, the mission is initially defended by Mendoza, Fielding and the Guaraní. They are no match for the military force and Mendoza is shot and fatally wounded after the soldiers destroy a trap, allowing them to enter the village. Fielding sacrifices himself by killing the Portuguese commander before he is killed. Upon seeing the Church at the mission village the soldiers become reluctant to fire. When the soldiers enter the mission village, they encounter the singing of Father Gabriel and the Guaraní women and children who march in the procession. Fr. Gabriel leads carrying a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. In spite of this, the Spanish commander orders the attack and Father Gabriel, the rest of the priests and most of the Guaraní, including women and children, are gunned down. After Fr. Gabriel is shot, a child picks up the Blessed Sacrament and leads the procession. Only a handful escape into the jungle.

In a final exchange between Cardinal Altamirano and Don Hontar, Hontar laments that what happened was unfortunate but inevitable because "we must work in the world; the world is thus." Altamirano replies, "No, thus have we made the world. Thus have I made it." Days later, a canoe of young children return to the scene of the Mission massacre and salvage a few belongings. They set off up the river, going deeper into the jungle, with the thought that the events will remain in their memories. A final title declares that many priests continue to fight for the rights of indigenous people. The text of John 1:5 is displayed: "The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness hath not overcome it."


  • Robert De Niro as Captain Rodrigo Mendoza
  • Jeremy Irons as Father Gabriel
  • Ray McAnally as Cardinal Altamirano
  • Aidan Quinn as Felipe Mendoza
  • Cherie Lunghi as Carlotta
  • Ronald Pickup as Don Hontar
  • Chuck Low as Don Cabeza
  • Liam Neeson as Father John Fielding
  • Bercelio Moya as Indian Boy
  • Sigifredo Ismare as Witch Doctor
  • Asuncion Ontiveros as Indian Chief
  • Alejandrino Moya as Chief's Lieutenant
  • Daniel Berrigan as Sebastian
  • Rolf Gray as Father Ralph
  • Álvaro Guerrero as Jesuit
  • Historical basis

    The Mission is based on events surrounding the Treaty of Madrid in 1750, in which Spain ceded part of Jesuit Paraguay to Portugal. A significant subtext is the impending Suppression of the Jesuits, of which Father Gabriel is warned by the film's narrator, Cardinal Altamirano, who was once himself a Jesuit. Altamirano, speaking in hindsight in 1758, corresponds to the actual Andalusian Jesuit Father Luis Altamirano, who was sent by Jesuit Superior General Ignacio Visconti to Paraguay in 1752 to transfer territory from Spain to Portugal. He oversaw the transfer of seven missions south and east of the Río Uruguay, that had been settled by Guaranis and Jesuits in the 17th century. As compensation, Spain promised each mission 4,000 pesos, or fewer than 1 peso for each of the circa 30,000 Guaranis of the seven missions, while the cultivated lands, livestock, and buildings were estimated to be worth 7–16 million pesos. The film's climax is the Guarani War of 1754–1756, during which historical Guaranís defended their homes against Spanish-Portuguese forces implementing the Treaty of Madrid. For the film, a re-creation was made of one of the seven missions, São Miguel das Missões.

    Father Gabriel's character is loosely based on the life of Paraguayan saint and Jesuit Roque González de Santa Cruz. The story is taken from the book The Lost Cities of Paraguay by Father C. J. McNaspy, S.J., who was also a consultant on the film.

    The waterfall setting of the film suggests the combination of these events with the story of older missions, founded between 1610–1630 on the Paranapanema River above the Guaíra Falls, from which Paulista slave raids forced Guaranís and Jesuits to flee in 1631. The battle at the end of the film evokes the eight-day Battle of Mbororé in 1641, a battle fought on land as well as in boats on rivers, in which the Jesuit-organized, firearm-equipped Guaraní forces stopped the Paulista raiders.

    Historical inaccuracies

    The fictional characters Gabriel and Rodrigo were involved in a struggle that is factually incorrect since it was only the Guarani who fought against oppression in the resulting three-year warfare against the Portuguese. The Jesuit missionaries did not directly disobey the orders of Altamirano, and none stayed to fight with their converts. The character of Altamirano is also historically inaccurate. He was not a cardinal sent by the Pope but an emissary sent by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Ignazio Visconti, to preserve the Jesuits in Europe in the face of attacks in Spain and Portugal.

    Filming locations

    The film was mostly filmed in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The tunnels of Fort Amherst in Kent were used as part of the monastery where Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is being held after he murders his brother.


    The Mission soundtrack was written by Ennio Morricone. Beginning with a liturgical piece ("On Earth as It Is in Heaven") which becomes the "Spanish" theme, it moves quickly to the "Guaraní" theme, which is written in a heavily native style and uses several indigenous instruments. Later, Morricone defines the "Mission" theme as a duet between the "Spanish" and "Guaraní" themes.

    Other themes throughout the movie include the "Penance", "Conquest", and "Ave Maria Guaraní" themes. In the latter, a large choir of indigenous people sing a haunting rendition of the "Ave Maria" in their native language.


    The film grossed $17.2 million dollars at the US and international box office against a budget of £16.5 million , which at the time was the US equivalent of $25.4 million dollars, making this film a commercial flop.

    The Mission received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews.

    Awards and honours

    Academy Awards

  • Best Picture – Fernando Ghia and David Puttnam (nominated)
  • Best Director – Roland Joffé (nominated)
  • Best Art Direction – Stuart Craig and Jack Stephens (nominated)
  • Best Cinematography – Chris Menges (won)
  • Best Costume Design – Enrico Sabbatini (nominated)
  • Best Film Editing – Jim Clark (nominated)
  • Best Original Score – Ennio Morricone (nominated)
  • BAFTA Film Awards

  • Best Film – Fernando Ghia, David Puttnam and Roland Joffé (nominated)
  • Best Director – Roland Joffé (nominated)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Ray McAnally (won)
  • Best Original Screenplay – Robert Bolt (nominated)
  • Best Cinematography – Chris Menges (nominated)
  • Best Costume Design – Enrico Sabbatini (nominated)
  • Best Film Editing – Jim Clark (won)
  • Best Film Music – Ennio Morricone (won)
  • Best Production Design – Stuart Craig (nominated)
  • Best Sound – Ian Fuller, Bill Rowe and Clive Winter (nominated)
  • Best Special Visual Effects – Peter Hutchinson (nominated)
  • Cannes Film Festival

  • Palme d'Or – Roland Joffé (won)
  • Technical Grand Prize – Roland Joffé (won)
  • Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama (nominated)
  • Best Director – Roland Joffé (nominated)
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama – Jeremy Irons (nominated)
  • Best Screenplay – Robert Bolt (won)
  • Best Original Score – Ennio Morricone (won)
  • Others

    The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2005: AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – #23
  • 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
  • References

    The Mission (1986 film) Wikipedia
    The Mission (1986 film) IMDbThe Mission (1986 film) Rotten TomatoesThe Mission (1986 film) Roger EbertThe Mission (1986 film)