Earl Pilcher, Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining ... See full summary »
James Earl Jones,
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
This film kept me thinking for days afterwards. A highly emotionally charged film, The Apostle is essentially a one-man tour de force for Duvall with an ensemble supporting cast. Duvall's performance was so convincing that had he performed this role live I'm sure he would have moved the whole audience to tears.
I resisted seeing this film at first expecting that it would be the usual tired, antireligious stereotype that late twentieth century script writers revel in. But The Apostle does not blindly follow any stereotypes. The premise is plausible and the realistic character portrayals give the viewer the feeling that they are right there in the story. This is a riveting tragic tale of a very flawed man who has the gift of inspiring others to better and greater things. Had Shakespeare been around today, he would have borrowed this storyline, but I doubt he could have done a better job.
It is a cautionary tale for anyone in a position of leadership. Somehow, despite the tragedy framing this story, I found it very uplifting. If you like a film with a message that prompts you to think, then see this movie.
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