Michael Palin (A Fish Called Wanda) and Maggie Smith (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) star in this delectable, wicked little comedy (Playboy) that puts a devout missionary into a precarious position! Reverend C... more »harles Fortescue (Palin) has a problem. His boss, the bishop (Denholm Elliott), wants him to minister to the city's fallen women. But when Fortescue begins recruiting converts from the streets, he discovers that these lusty ladies are only willing to submit to salvation if they are permitted to share his bed! Hilarious and sexy, The Missionary is charming [and] buoyant (The New York Times)!« less
"How could MGM release a fullscreen only version of a film at this late date? I'm afraid that this lovely film is too obscure ever to be re-issued in the correct aspect ratio. I hope I'm proved wrong."
A Missionary With a Difference
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 09/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Michael Palin plays a missionary who has just returned after ten years in Africa. He has a fiancé waiting and has high hopes for a good position.But all does not go as planned. He keeps running into an intriguing woman, his fiancé is obsessed with filing, and his church wants him to tackle the growing problem of "fallen women" working in the docklands.Faced with the task of setting up a mission in London, he must find funding and souls to save. But to do either he finds that he may have to extend a different sort of kindness. One that gets him money and fills the mission with prospects.But, again, all is not well. Other churches are jealous, all of their prospects want to go to Palin's mission. His funding source gets jealous and stops funding. He learns of a murder plot that he must stop. He must even go against the wishes of the church in order to save the women.All of this is wrapped in a sort of dry British humor. We have the fiancé who is utterly obsessed with filing, a butler who can't go from one room to another without getting lost, and all sorts of subtle gags. In the middle is Palin as the straight man dealing with it all.A good movie, but I have to agree with others that I can't believe MGM released it only in full-screen (several scenes have only a character's nose making it onto the screen)."
Dennis Turnbull | 07/19/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The information Amazon gives on this DVD does not stipulate whether it is wide-screen or full screen. I purchased on the assumption that it was the theatric release ratio but it is the full screen version. If this is what you want, fine, but otherwise watch out. I am not giving a review because full screen movies are not worth watching."
Try to change the world, and the world changes you!
Chuck Low | Houston, TX USA | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After ten years of heroic missionary work, the Rev. Charles Fortesque is recalled from Africa and reassigned to the most pressing problem of the Church of England - to reform "fallen women" who work on the back streets of East London. Yet, ironically, by a strange twist of fate, it is he who is reformed by a woman who once was "fallen". Or, is it that he always does the decent thing? I loved the reversals!"
Dennis Turnbull | 08/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the movie. Palin's great in the leading role. The humor isn't quite as heavy as the Python sort but you get lots of god laughs. I must say that I liked this better than fierce creatures."