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The Apostle (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,332 users   Metascore: 83/100
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After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Bagget ...
Tag Team Preacher #3 (as Brother Paul Bagget)
Female Sonny Supporter
Mary Lynette Braxton ...
Mother Blackwell
Christopher Canady ...
Sister Johnson's Twin
Christian Canady ...
Sister Johnson's Twin
Elizabeth Chisolm ...
William Atlas Cole ...
Bayou Man (as Brother William Atlas Cole)
Frank Collins Jr. ...
Soloist #4 (as Reverend Frank Collins Jr.)
Carl D. Cook ...
Civic Auditorium Preacher (as Prophet Carl D. Cook)
Naomi Craig ...
Scripture Reader
Wayne Dehart ...
Liquor Store Preacher


Eulis 'Sonny' Dewey is a preacher from Texas living a happy life with his beautiful wife Jessie. Suddenly his stable world crumbles: Jessie is having an affair with young minister Horace. Sonny gets enraged and hits Horace with a softball bat, putting him into a coma. After that he leaves town, takes a new name, 'Apostle E.F.' and goes to Louisiana. There he starts to work as a mechanic for local radio station owner Elmo, and Elmo lets him preach on the radio. E.F. starts to preach everywhere: on the radio, on the streets, and with his new friend, Reverend Blackwell he starts a campaign to renovate an old church. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The hardest soul to save was his own. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and a related scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apostel!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$40,969 (USA) (19 December 1997)


$20,733,485 (USA) (12 June 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Farrah Fawcett's cousin, Jan Fawcett, played a stand in for her part. See more »


When E.F.'s ex called the police (and the "Bayou Boutte" dispatcher supposedly answered), she would have actually called the Fort Worth P.D. homicide division, to inform that Sonny (aka E.F.) is in Bayou Boutte, Louisiana, since the incident is under Ft. Worth, Texas' jurisdiction. Also Bayou Boutte is quite likely too small for its own police department, let alone a homicide division. See more »


Troublemaker: You want the Lord to watch me kick your ass?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits there is a scene showing Sonny (Robert Duvall) preaching to the prisoners during out-of-prison work. See more »


Featured in The Journey of 'The Apostle' (1998) See more »


Handwriting on the Wall
Written by Mel Mallory
Performed by Little Leo
Courtesy of Tuff City/Night Train International Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

I love this film
16 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Duvall did an excellent job bringing this film to life. The other 'actors' in the film also contribute to give "The Apostle" a realistic warmth rarely achieved in mainstream films. I refer to the cast as 'actors' because aside from numerous character actors, Duvall being one of the greatest, the film is inhabited by non-actors. In other words, the people in church, from the Holiness preachers to the warm small-town folk, are real people, not trained in acting. Duvall's story is engaging and beautiful in the way it shows the flaws amid great talent in a man who chooses for himself the calling of Apostle. I love this film, the accurate portrayal of some aspects of southern U.S. life and culture, and especially Duvall's performance.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Duvall Was Too Old For This Part TheFixer253
Is Robert Duvall a Christian sobek1
I was absolutely convinced that Billy Bob was a shill asabernathy
Not religious myself but I loved this film ElMacho
Where's the redemption? jmshahi
Update on church where the apostle was filmed cbryan91
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