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The Mission [1986] [DVD]

153 customer reviews

Price: £3.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn
  • Directors: Roland Joffe
  • Producers: Fernando Ghia, David Puttnam, Iain Smith
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jun. 2006
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BD0P38
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,834 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The story of the conflict between slave-traders and Jesuits during the colonisation of South America by Spain and Portugal. In 1750 Jesuit priest Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) arrives in the Amazon to build a mission for the Guarani Indians. He comes into conflict with slave trader Mendoza (Robert De Niro), who kills or captures many of the tribe but escapes punishment due to the fact that he is an aristocrat. However, it transpires that even Mendoza has a conscience when he comes to Gabriel asking for penance.

From Amazon.co.uk

Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields) directs this fuzzy effort at a David Lean-like epic without David Lean's sense of emotional proportion. Lean's most important screenwriting collaborator, Robert Bolt, in fact wrote The Mission, which concerns a Jesuit missionary (Jeremy Irons) who establishes a church in the hostile jungles of Brazil and then finds his work threatened by greed and political forces among his superiors. Robert De Niro is briefly effective as a callous soldier who kills his own brother and then turns to Irons's character to oversee his penance and conversion to the clergy. The narrative and dramatic forces at work in this movie should be more stirring and powerful than they are--the problem being that Joffé is too removed from them to allow us in. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 8 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
One of a trio of big-budget films that was intended to turn Goldcrest into a major producer after a run of successful (mostly) low-budget films but which instead all but destroyed the company, The Mission isn't as irredeemably disastrous as Revolution or as over-reaching as Absolute Beginners, but it's still a disappointment despite its many admirable qualities. Screenwriter Robert Bolt has an interesting, if obscure story to tell in the violent closure of the 18th Century Jesuit missions in Paraguay as part of a territorial wrangle between Spain and Portugal, with the Vatican going along with genocide to avoid political repercussions in Europe while the priests in the missions try to protect their native Guarani converts from the slave traders simply waiting for the Church to withdraw its protection. Robert Bolt's screenplay is strong, thanks to Chris Menges' cinematography the film looks superb and Ennio Morricone's score is one of his best. Yet the film feels as if something is missing, possibly because it is: the work-in-progress version that won the Palme D'Or at Cannes was reputedly nearly twice as long. What's left tells the story and makes its points, but doesn't really touch the heart or carry you along with more than academic interest. But perhaps worst of all, there's a gaping hole where the heart of The Mission should be in the form of Robert De Niro.

He looks the part, learnt fencing, speaks Spanish, yet for all that it's a hollow shell of a performance hiding behind underplayed surface detail.
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93 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Belfast Child on 17 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
This is such an underrated film. In fact many people I speak to have never even heard of it. I watched it initially because of the haunting soundtrack (it would be worth watching for this alone) and was gripped by the storyline. This film shows the devestating effect that colonisation by Europeans had on the native tribes of the Amazon as well as telling the story of courageous missionaries trying to protect those they felt called to serve.

It is beautifully filmed in Uruguay and uses actors from local tribes to add authenticity to the portrayal. The cast are superb with excellent performances from Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons as priests with very different perspectives on the situation they find themselves in.

This film is now available at a ridiculously low price so snap it up and add a film of true quality to your collection. At very least add it to your rental list.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Martin Trivasse on 9 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD
I read Robert Bolt's deeply moving novel, 'The Mission', before watching the film, and was therefore anxious to see how it would be treated on screen. As it happens, Bolt wrote the screenplay, and appears to have worked closely with the director, Rolland Joffe ('The Killing Fields'). The result is masterly, and everything I could have hoped for!
The story, based on true events, depicts the tragedy of a South American tribe at the hands of Church, State and European entrepreneurs over 200 years ago. Bolt and Joffe offer no easy answers to questions of faith, politics and morality, in this painfully modern tale. When is it right to kill for what you believe in? Who should command my loyalties - my country, my family, or my God? Can we ever know what is right or wrong?
The photography is outstanding, the acting courageous and beautifully judged, (including a magnificently restrained Robert de Niro as a reformed slave-trader turned Jesuit), and the story utterly compelling. You will truly care about the lives you witness.
The extra features are worth buying alone! The second disc is a documentary on the making of the film, but more riveting is the director's commentary on disc 1. He explains clearly and passionately the many layers to the making of 'The Mission'. Above all, he explores the extraordinary way in which he employed a genuine South American tribe, who had never seen white people before, let alone a film. As Roffe was unable to direct these indians in the way he would more conventional actors, the indians' performances are more or less their real responses to the scenes Roffe sets up. He handed over a great many decisions to them, and allowed them to choose and act according to their culture and feelings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
I sometimes struggle to remember why I liked certain films so much but as I get older and my memory fades I use a simple acid test. If I remember them so well after so many years with my memory, then it must be pretty good. And yes I remember much of "The Mission". It sets its sights very high indeed and deals in weighty emotive subjects. The inexorable expansion of civilisation and the effects of those native peoples that come under its influence.

The story revolves around the evangelical efforts of Roman Catholic priests to convert the local South American natives to catholicism and the effects of the wider church decisions on these small enclaves and outposts of Christianity. The priests who go out to evangelise are painted in a good light, whilst the Roman Catholic church is portrayed as an inflexible, monolithic lumbering organisation with an uncaring leadership. The film involves an ex slave runner who becomes a priest only to suffer an agonising test of his new found faith. Jeremy Irons plays the priest who goes out amongst the tribes and he is very convincing in that role. One of his best. He is a true man of god and lives and dies true to his faith. Robert De Niro, perhaps slightly miscast if I am absolutely honest, plays the ex slave runner priest.

The film is quite ravishingly shot and just as ravishing is the score by Ennio Morricone. Haunting and beautiful. One of the truly great movie scores. The opening scene shows a priest tied to a cross and pushed out into a river by natives. He is then seen plummetting to his death over a vast waterfall. It sets the scene. Many early emmissaries of the church were martyred when making that first risky contact with new tribes. We watch as the Jeremy Irons character slowly builds the confidence of his new flock.
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