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
Superior acting and a plot based on realism make this a classic movie of actual southern life ... a life that I experienced as a child and adolescent. Duvall's evangelist portrayal is not only convincing but eerie in the way it so fully represents many southern ministers of the gospel ... be they true believers or be they charlatans. I can't help but wonder if the cast was comprised of local folks ... or at least folks reared in the south ... rather than professional actors. They all did an excellent job contributing to the realism of this movie. I almost always enjoy a movie that "tells it like it is" ... and sofar, this is one of the most enjoyable I have ever seen.
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