7.2/10
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154 user 99 critic

The Apostle (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 February 1998 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Robert Duvall

Writer:

Robert Duvall
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Todd Allen ... Horace
Paul Bagget Paul Bagget ... Tag Team Preacher #3 (as Brother Paul Bagget)
Lenore Banks ... Female Sonny Supporter
John Beasley ... Brother Blackwell
Mary Lynette Braxton Mary Lynette Braxton ... Mother Blackwell
Brett Brock ... Helper
Christopher Canady Christopher Canady ... Sister Johnson's Twin
Christian Canady Christian Canady ... Sister Johnson's Twin
June Carter Cash ... Mrs. Dewey Sr.
Elizabeth Chisolm Elizabeth Chisolm ... Singer
William Atlas Cole William Atlas Cole ... Bayou Man (as Brother William Atlas Cole)
Frank Collins Jr. Frank Collins Jr. ... Soloist #4 (as Reverend Frank Collins Jr.)
Carl D. Cook Carl D. Cook ... Civic Auditorium Preacher (as Prophet Carl D. Cook)
Naomi Craig Naomi Craig ... Scripture Reader
Wayne Dehart Wayne Dehart ... Liquor Store Preacher
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Lust, Obsession, Revenge... Redemption See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and a related scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apostel! See more »

Filming Locations:

Collin County, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,969, 21 December 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$20,733,485, 14 June 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Butcher's Run Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

In the bulldozer scene (Chapter 30), Troublemaker has stood up after praying. People are scattered around him. The shot changes immediately to where these same people are standing in a defined circle holding hands singing around him for a few seconds, then it reverts back to the first shot where the people are scattered around him. (1:47:02 through 1:47:16). See more »

Quotes

Sonny: [talking to Joe about his dying mother] Tell her i built the prettiest little church this side of heavan, out in the wildwood. Tell her that.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Amen!
22 January 1999 | by KerrymanSee all my reviews

The Apostle is a gripping film on a most unpromising subject matter. The film has none of the obvious flash of movies such as Elmer Gantry and The Rainmaker which covered some of the same territory. The Apostle is based on straightforward storytelling, great character development and nice, gentle pacing - but with a strong kick.

Robert Duvall, one of the best actors of the last thirty years, gives a powerful performance as the preacher driven by his inner demons - and gods. Over the years, we've seen preachers played by actors ranging from Burt Lancaster to Steve Martin but Robert Duvall comes up with a truly individual and original interpretation. What makes the character Sonny stand out is that he is so real! Ranging from his most charismatic (doing a Joe Dolan impersonation?) to his most personal, one feels that Sonny (the apostle EF) is real, believes what he is doing is real and is confident in his destiny - no matter how odd or quirky he appears at times.

The film is character driven with a good sprinkling of incidents throughout. Story points introduced early on and developed before half way give the film a strong feel of The Fugitive, the TV series - laid back, story based but with the undercurrent of "a ticking bomb under the table" (Alfred Hitchcock).

Minor quibbles: Miranda Richardson's character is a little too young for Robert Duvall's. June Carter Cash, both the actress and the character, seem under utilised. And at times it is possible to see the joins. The version I saw on video appears to be shorter than that shown originally in the US cinema. This pruning may account for some of these minor points.

Overall, The Apostle is highly recommended. Filmgoers without a strong interest in religious matters should find the characters, their treatment and the landscape in which they operate fascinating. Most people of a religious disposition should have little difficulty with the film as a film though they may not always like what they see from a religious viewpoint. 8.75.

Amen!


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