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The Apostle (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,338 users   Metascore: 83/100
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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.



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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


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?


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 E.F. is kneeling with the troublemaker in front of the bulldozer. See more »


Sonny: Holy Ghost Power!
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 »


Featured in The Journey of 'The Apostle' (1998) See more »


Handwriting on the Wall
Written by Mel Mallory
Performed by Little Leo
Courtesy of Tuff City/Night Train International Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating Character Study
30 July 2004 | by (Ypsilanti, MI) – See all my reviews

You can't help but being mesmerized by Robert Duvall in the title role. He must of seen a lot of southern preachers as he grew up, because he wrote this as well and the role suited him to a tee.

The supporting cast is fine, with Rick Dial and John Beasley getting kudos for their work, but the movie is first and foremost about The Apostle. If you like Robert Duvall as an actor, you will like this movie. His attention to detail in his roles is well known. He brings quirks and nuances to help flesh out his characters, and this role is no different.

The Apostle is a flawed man who can lift others up, but has trouble lifting himself up. And that contradiction is what gives this movie its flavor. All-in-all, a fine movie.

35 of 36 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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