Don't Mess with the Missionary Men (and Women)

by yrnej | created - 27 Dec 2016 | updated - 30 Dec 2016 | Public

Martin Scorsese's new film Silence (2016) follows two Jesuit priests in Japan in the seventeenth century. They are just the latest in a long line of cinematic missionaries. Which of those missionaries might tempt you to convert?

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1. The African Queen (1951)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

91 Metascore

In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull

Votes: 68,238 | Gross: $0.54M

Katharine Hepburn as Rose Sayer Robert Morley as Rev. Samuel Sayer

2. At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, Romance

Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco | Stars: Tom Berenger, John Lithgow, Daryl Hannah, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 2,964 | Gross: $1.34M

John Lithgow as Leslie Huben Daryl Hannah as Andy Huben Aidan Quinn as Martin Quarrier Kathy Bates as Hazel Quarrier

3. Black Narcissus (1947)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Jenny Laird

Votes: 20,001

Deborah Kerr as Sister Clodagh Flora Robson as Sister Philippa Jenny Laird as Sister Honey Judith Furse as Sister Briony Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth

4. Black Robe (1991)

R | 101 min | Drama, History, War

In the 17th century, a Jesuit missionary nicknamed Black Robe by the natives and his small party of companions try reaching the Huron tribe in Canada all while facing mistrust, Iroquois warring parties and harsh winter conditions.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Aden Young, Sandrine Holt, August Schellenberg

Votes: 6,053 | Gross: $8.21M

Lothaire Bluteau as Laforgue

5. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 51,042 | Gross: $58.97M

Ian Charleson as Eric Liddell Cheryl Campbell as Jennie Liddell

6. The Cross and the Switchblade (1970)

GP | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Crusading minister gets involved in the lives of members of a New York City street gang.

Director: Don Murray | Stars: Pat Boone, Erik Estrada, Jacqueline Giroux, Jo-Ann Robinson

Votes: 926

Pat Boone as David Wilkerson

7. End of the Spear (2005)

PG-13 | 108 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

45 Metascore

Two people come to the end of a spear in order to realize that the divisions between them are not real.

Director: Jim Hanon | Stars: Louie Leonardo, Chad Allen, Jack Guzman, Christina Souza

Votes: 4,767 | Gross: $11.97M

Chad Allen as Nate Saint Sean McGowan as Jim Elliot Stephen Caudill as Ed McCully Matt Lutz as Pete Fleming Patrick Zeller as Roger Youderian

8. God's Army (2000)

PG | 108 min | Drama

38 Metascore

Life as a Mormon missionary isn't what 19-year-old Brandon Allen expected: so many rules and so few successes. Los Angeles is as unrepentant as Sodom and Gomorrah. He's forced to share a ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Dutcher | Stars: Matthew A. Brown, Richard Dutcher, Jacque Gray, Jeffrey Scott Kelly

Votes: 996 | Gross: $2.64M

Matthew A. Brown as Elder Allen Richard Dutcher as Elder Dalton Desean Terry as Elder Banks Michael Buster as Elder Kinegar

9. Guys and Dolls (1955)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine

Votes: 14,580 | Gross: $13.00M

Jean Simmons as Sarah Brown

10. Hawaii (1966)

Approved | 189 min | Drama

An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman

Votes: 2,520 | Gross: $34.56M

Julie Andrews as Jerusha Bromley Max von Sydow as Rev. Abner Hale

11. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

Approved | 107 min | Adventure, Drama, War

During World War II, an American marine and an Irish nun form an unlikely friendship after being stranded on a South Pacific island. They find comfort in one another as the two hope for a rescue.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr

Votes: 7,393

Deborah Kerr as Sister Angela

12. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

Approved | 158 min | Biography, Drama, War

All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat, Curd Jürgens, Michael David

Votes: 4,319

Ingrid Bergman as Gladys Aylward

13. The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Approved | 137 min | Drama

A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Rose Stradner

Votes: 2,256

Gregory Peck as Father Francis Chisholm

14. The Mission (1986)

PG | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, History

55 Metascore

Eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn

Votes: 52,961 | Gross: $17.22M

Jeremy Irons as Father Gabriel

15. The Missionary (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy

In 1905, after ten years of missionary work in Africa, the Reverend Charles Fortescue (Michael Palin) is recalled to England, where his Bishop gives him his new assignment, to minister to ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Loncraine | Stars: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Trevor Howard, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 1,952 | Gross: $7.24M

Michael Palin as The Reverend Charles Fortescue

16. Molokai (1999)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama

The true story of the nineteenth century priest who volunteered to go to the island of Molokai, to console and care for the lepers.

Director: Paul Cox | Stars: Keanu Kapuni-Szasz, David Wenham, Jan Kleinejan, Michael W. Perry

Votes: 1,115

David Wenham as Father Damien

17. Nazarin (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

A priest in a poor community lives a charitable life in accordance with his religious principles, but many others do not return the favor.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Ignacio López Tarso

Votes: 4,770

Francisco Rabal as Padre Nazario

18. The Nun's Story (1959)

Not Rated | 149 min | Drama

After leaving a wealthy Belgian family to become a nun, Sister Luke struggles with her devotion to her vows during crisis, disappointment, and World War II.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy Ashcroft

Votes: 8,799 | Gross: $12.80M

Audrey Hepburn as Sister Luke (Gabrielle van der Mal)

19. The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

PG | 113 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

38 Metascore

John Groberg, a farm kid from Idaho Falls, crosses an ocean to become a missionary in the remote and exotic Tongan islands during the 1950s.

Director: Mitch Davis | Stars: Christopher Gorham, Anne Hathaway, Joe Folau, Nathaniel Lees

Votes: 3,922 | Gross: $4.72M

Christopher Gorham as John Groberg

20. Shanghai Surprise (1986)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

16 Metascore

Shanghai, 1938: A missionary woman hires a fortune hunter to help her find 1100 lbs. opium lost, as wounded need the morphine. Adventure and romance follows.

Director: Jim Goddard | Stars: Sean Penn, Madonna, Paul Freeman, Richard Griffiths

Votes: 4,796 | Gross: $2.32M

Madonna as Gloria Tatlock

21. Turn the Other Cheek (1974)

PG | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Two missionaries (Bud Spencer and Terence Hill) come into conflict with the authorities when they turn their missionary into a parrot farm. The Bishop of Maracaibo calls them his 'black ... See full summary »

Director: Franco Rossi | Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Robert Loggia

Votes: 3,662

Terence Hill as Father/Padre J. Bud Spencer as Father/Padre Pedro



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