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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


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?


After seeing the film, Marlon Brando wrote Robert Duvall a heartfelt letter congratulating him on making such a moving film. 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 »


Brother Blackwell: [laughing] Now, Apostle, I know what you're thinking, but... All-All I can say is that whenever you've been on the radio, most all the white people think you're black. Now, most all the colored people know you ain't black; but they sho do like you're style of preachin'. So, what you see is what we got.
Sonny: Yeah. Yeah, well we got what the Lord sent... what the Lord sent.
Brother Blackwell: That's right.
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

Courageous Story of Redemption
12 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I will always admire Robert Duvall for all the personal effort he put into making this film. As a church worker who is a moderate/liberal Christian, there are few other movies like it out there. It presents a pastor who is clearly flawed and sinful, as all of us are. However, it also presents someone who simply wants to serve the Lord and help people, whether they are poor, black or prisoners. The filming locations and use of real pastors give the movie an extremely authentic feel. Great music as well! Highly recommended movie with great acting, a story that makes you think and a balanced portrayal of evangelical Christianity.

20 of 23 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
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