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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Richard Loncraine
UK 1982

 

Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin writes and stars in this ribald comedy of sex and sensibility. Timid Reverend Charles Fortescue returns to London in 1906 after ten years of service in Africa to start a mission to save the fallen women of Soho. But his dedication to tending to the needs of those in his care soon meets with the disapproval of the church and his patron.

Directed by Richard Loncraine (Richard III, Bellman & True), The Missionary is a charming and beautifully detailed comedy which boasts a superb supporting cast that includes Maggie Smith, Trevor Howard, Denholm Elliott, Michael Hordern, Graham Crowden and Neil Innes.

This world Blu-ray premiere edition boasts a stunning new 2K restoration from the original negatives, supervised and approved by cinematographer Peter Hannan and director Richard Loncraine, finally enabling the film to be seen in its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio for the first time ever on any home video format.

***

Michael Palin wrote and stars in this comedy as The Reverend Charles Fortescue, an unassuming missionary called back to England after spending ten years in Africa teaching children in a native village. Upon arriving in London, he finds that his new assignment is to take charge of a slum mission for prostitutes. He obtains money for the running of the mission from a wealthy woman, Lady Ames (Maggie Smith), whom he meets on the boat sailing to England from Africa. Lady Ames guarantees Fortescue the money on the condition that he take it upon himself to add a little spice to her dormant sex life.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: November 5th, 1982

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:26:18.131        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,227,360,321 bytes

Feature: 25,532,685,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,227,360,321 bytes

Feature: 25,532,685,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with writer and actor Michael Palin (2002)
• Audio commentary with director Richard Loncraine and film historian Sam Dunn (2019)
• Compulsively Entertaining (2019, 37:35): Palin and Maggie Smith reflect on the making of The Missionary
• A Good Collar (2019, 7:55): costume designer Shuna Harwood discusses her work on the film
• A Very British Sound (2019, 7:32): veteran composer and record producer Mike Moran explores the score of The Missionary
• Playing the Part (2019, 3:42): Ken Lintott recalls his approach to the film’s make-up
• Snapshots of Sound (2019, 10:29): interview with sound recordist Tony Jackson
• A Stiff Old Fashioned (2019, 22:27): appreciation by comedian, musician and writer Rob Deering
• Deleted scenes (2:38 + 3:47, mute with subtitled dialogue)
• Original theatrical trailer (1:38)
• Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with an extract from Robert Sellers’ Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films, extracts from Palin’s Halfway to Hollywood: Diaries 1980–88, Palin on The Missionary, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• Limited edition of 5,000 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 26th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (August 2019): Indicator have transferred Richard Loncraine's The Missionary to Blu-ray. The ancient DVDs were ridiculous pan-and-scan versions and this 1080P is advertised as "a new 2K restoration from the original negatives, supervised and approved by cinematographer Peter Hannan and director Richard Loncraine, finally enabling the film to be seen in its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio for the first time ever on any home video format." It looks marvelous on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The English countryside sequences are immensely attractive and picturesque. There is some nice texture and realistic colors. Looks perfect in-motion. Bravo.

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score by Mike Moran (Time Bandits,) sounding a bit deeper with more consistent dialogue. Indicator offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray is totally stacked. Firstly, they include the fun audio commentary with writer and actor Michael Palin from 2002. He talks about the specific scenes, dialogue and some anecdotes regarding the production. There is a new (2019) second audio commentary with director Richard Loncraine and film historian Sam Dunn. He 'unpacks' the film's storyline and adds details that only the director would be privy. He shares many fond memories of making the film calling it the happiest production he ever directed. he also isn't shy about mentioning people he wasn't particularly enamored with. Compulsively Entertaining is also new and spends almost 40-minutes with Michael Palin and Maggie Smith reflecting on the making of The Missionary. A Good Collar has costume designer Shuna Harwood discusses her work on the film. A Very British Sound interviews veteran composer and record producer Mike Moran who explores composing the score of The Missionary. Playing the Part is a short 4-minutes with makeup supervisor Ken Lintott who recalls his approach to the film’s make-up. Snapshots of Sound is a 10-minute interview with sound recordist Tony Jackson. A Stiff Old Fashioned is a new 23-minute appreciation by comedian, musician and writer Rob Deering who genuinely appreciate the film's more subtle layers. There are two deleted scenes (mute with subtitled dialogue), an original theatrical trailer and an image gallery of promotional and publicity material. The package contains a limited edition (5,000 copies) exclusive 40-page booklet with an extract from Robert Sellers’ Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films, extracts from Palin’s Halfway to Hollywood: Diaries 1980–88, Palin on The Missionary, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits

What a gloriously fun, and frequently wryly sexy film. The Missionary has witty dialogue and a curious subversive subtext. Finally to see it in the proper aspect ratio and in expressive, film-like Blu-ray, no less. Let's not forget the commentaries and plethora of extras. Thanks Indicator - a very easy recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

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