The Apostle (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,397 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 13 wins & 6 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?


Robert Duvall wrote the entire script in longhand. See more »


When the Apostle E.F. is kneeling with the troublemaker in front of the bulldozer. 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 »


Referenced in Howard Stern on Demand: Robert Duvall (2006) See more »


I'll Fly Away
Written by Albert E. Brumley (as Alfred E. Brumley)
Performed by The Fountain of the Living Word Church of Dallas, Texas Choir
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
Where's the redemption? jmshahi
I was absolutely convinced that Billy Bob was a shill asabernathy
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Update on church where the apostle was filmed cbryan91
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