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The Apostle (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,334 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 156 user | 93 critic | 28 from

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


Lust, Obsession, Revenge... Redemption 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 The Apostle is in his car at the accident scene his window is closed. As he gets out of the car and closes the door, the window is partially open. See more »


Sonny: I quit school because I didn't like recess.
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 »


Referenced in Bad Santa: Not Your Typical Christmas Movie (2004) See more »


Shine On
Written and Performed by Dolly Parton
See more »

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User Reviews

Can I get a witness?
16 July 2004 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

I didn't grow up down South, or even in the midwest, but I do know a little bit about the Pentacostal Church and Christian fundamentalism. Robert Duvall is an ambitious actor and film maker, and The Apostle hits home with its perceptive and loving portrayal of country people in the United States. It is refreshing to see that culture portrayed as something other than gaggles of yahoos. The Apostle focuses on the community spirit of the church, and thereby shatters some of the mystery of its appeal in a culture as self-centered as our own. There are no saints in this story, just a protagonist and his supporters trying to make sense of a country in which there is little love and way too much usury. The film is harsh on a number of levels, very no-nonsense though drawn out at various moments. But it's real, and that's more than can be said for ninety per cent of what passes for films about U.S. culture these days. It's said by some folks that Robert Duvall has been trying to make this film for a lot of years, and there are parts of The Apostle that contain faint echoes of his 1983 project Tender Mercies. It hardly matters, since both are interesting films for different reasons. Some day we'll see Robert Duvall as the vast repository of Americana he really is, until then, The Apostle is one of the best testimonies to his strengths that I know of. Can I get a witness?

42 of 44 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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