Rent The Missionary (1982)

3.3 of 5 from 75 ratings
1h 23min
Rent The Missionary Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Fallen Women? Does it mean they've hurt their knees? After a decade of soul saving in Africa, Charles Fortescue is asked to minister to the ladies of the night in 1906 London. So Fortescue feeds them, shelters them and not infrequently provides them a bed - his! A naive man of the cloth becomes a man of the sheets in this playfully naughty yet always tasteful comedy that stars Monty Python's Michael Palin as Fortescue and features a colourful array of cockeyed characters: a blissful airhead (Phoebe Nicholls), a lusty mission sponsor (Maggie Smith), a bewildered butler (Michael Hordern), an earthy bishop (Denholm Elliott), a cantankerous John Bull (Trevor Howard) and more.
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Michael Palin, Neville C. Thompson
Voiced By:
John Fortune
Michael Palin
Anchor Bay
British Films, Comedy
Release Date:
Run Time:
83 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Release Date:
Run Time:
87 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Audio commentary with writer and actor Michael Palin (2002)
  • Audio commentary with director Richard Loncraine and film historian Sam Dunn (2019)
  • Compulsively Entertaining (2019, 38 mins): Palin and Maggie Smith reflect on the making of 'The Missionary'
  • A Good Collar (2019, 8 mins): costume designer Shuna Harwood discusses her work on the film A Very British Sound (2019, 8 mins): veteran composer and record producer Mike Moran explores the score of 'The Missionary'
  • Playing the Part (2019, 4 mins): Ken Lintott recalls his approach to the film's make-up
  • Snapshots of Sound (2019, 10 mins): interview with sound recordist Tony Jackson
  • A Stiff Old Fashioned (2019, 23 mins): appreciation by comedian, musician and writer Rob Deering
  • Deleted Scenes (7 mins, mute with subtitled dialogue)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Image Gallery: promotional and publicity material
  • World premiere on Blu-ray

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Reviews (2) of The Missionary

Disappointing - The Missionary review by MW

Spoiler Alert

As a huge fan of Michael Palin and sharing, as I thought, the same sense of humour, I was looking forward to watching 'The Missionary' and surprised that I hadn't seen it before.

In the event I have to say that I really didn't find it funny at all. There were numerous incidents which should have been funny, but somehow did absolutely nothing for me! Maybe it caught me on a bad night!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Clever Period Comedy - The Missionary review by GI

Spoiler Alert

Michael Palin's first solo effort away from the Monty Python team and a film he wrote, scripted and stars in. This is a big step away from the Python zany comedy and much closer to the style of Palin's TV series Ripping Yarns. Essentially a comedy of manners set in 1906 and Palin is the enthusiastic yet naïve Reverend Charles Fortescue who returns to England after ten years as a missionary in Africa. He yearns to marry his fiancée Deborah but his Bishop (Denholm Elliott) gives him a new role to set up a mission in London for 'fallen women'. This sets the frustrated Charles on a difficult course surrounded by young women who want some genuine love and affection and his troubles are further enhanced by the unwelcome attentions of his sponsor, Lady Ames (Maggie Smith). A gentle comedy with a wonderful recreation of the times especially the slums of docklands. There's a dreamy and nostalgic atmosphere to the film and it's a delight with little bursts of silliness and Palin's skill at portraying a boring man forced into unusual circumstances. A film well worth renting if you've never seen it. There's a prestigious cast too, Trevor Howard, Michael Hordern, Timothy Spall and David Suchet.

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