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The Apostle (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 February 1998 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer

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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.



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


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?


The lines of the radio owner during the scene where Billy Bob Thornton is talked out of bulldozing the church were improvised. See more »


When Sonny first goes to see the church, he leaves his car door open. When he returns, the car door is shut. See more »


Sonny: I'm a genuine, Holy Ghost, Jesus-filled preachin' machine this mornin'!
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 Film Geek (2005) See more »


Waitin' on the Far Side Banks of Jordan
Written by Terry Smith
Performed by June Carter Cash
See more »

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User Reviews

Duvall's finest two hours
22 August 1998 | by (Ann Arbor, MI) – See all my reviews

Writer, director, actor: Duvall proves he has it all and with remarkable poise. Preacher "E.F." may appear to be over-the-top but he's the most human portrayal I've seen in many years. With this film, Duvall sets himself head and shoulders above the other actors of his generation.

12 of 17 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
Where's the redemption? jmshahi
Not religious myself but I loved this film ElMacho
Outstanding FilmFan-24
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