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The Fighting Preacher (2019)




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Credited cast:
David McConnell ... Willard Bean
Charley Boon ... Buster
Kenna Dawn ... Palmyra (older)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steve Anderson Steve Anderson ... Thomas Winegar
Richard Benedict Richard Benedict ... Pliny Sexton
David DeDen David DeDen ... Mobber #2
Jim Goldrup Jim Goldrup ... Mobber #4
Tom Goldrup Tom Goldrup ... Mobber #3
Matt Hale Matt Hale ... Challenger
Scarlett Hazen ... Palmyra
Barta Heiner Barta Heiner ... Mrs. Rhodes
Tony Hill Tony Hill ... The Stranger
Cassidy Hubert Cassidy Hubert ... Rebecca Bean
Cy Mayward Cy Mayward ... Eldon (credit only)
Joseph Paur Joseph Paur ... Waterman


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


The true story of the 1905 World Middle-Weight Boxing Champion, Willard Bean, who turns his gloves in to become a preacher.


Comedy | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic content and some action.






Release Date:

24 July 2019 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,224, 28 July 2019

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Remember Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to BoxRec, Boxing's Official Record Keeper, Willard Bean was never a World Champion Boxer and he never boxed in St. Louis as depicted in the movie. He had two matches outside of Utah; one in San Fransisco, CA and one in Denver, CO. His professional boxing record was: 18 bouts and 181 rounds. 8 wins (7 by knock out), 5 losses (1 by knock out) and 3 draws. See more »


References Rocky (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

4 August 2019 | by mlh-58See all my reviews

In his autobiography, Willard Bean wrote: "When people tell my story they usually get it about half right." This movie is an example of that; the screenwriter got it about half right. The sad thing is the parts he got wrong were deliberately wrong because the writer thought it would make a better story. The real, accurate story would have made a much better movie. Sadder still is that in interviews the writer presented his altered version as true and accurate. Visually this movie is beautiful. Mr. Christensen is one of the best cinematopraphers working today. David McConnell does a very good job portraying Willard Bean, but unfortunately, he received some bad direction which made some of his scenes silly and eye-rolling. If you like "Mormon movies", you'll love this one. It has some touching moments and some good lessons, and even a thinly disguised Three Nephites Story (which is so poorly put together it leaves the audience wondering what just happened). One of the ways the writer changed the true story was to create an a-little-child-shall-lead-them storyline. This is always good for a few tears whether it's true or not. Adding this storyline feels like an insult to Willard Bean's life and his true character, but it's a guaranteed Kleenex moment in any "Mormon movie". Visually, I would give this movie 8 out of 10 stars. Unfortunately, Mr Christensen insists on being a one-man band who writes, directs, shoots and produces and I can't give the final product more than 4 out of 10 stars. Had this been a team effort with a good writer who stuck to the true story, and good director working with one of the industries great cinematographers, this could have been an outstanding movie. One final note. Before you lump me in the category of Mormon hater, or disgruntled Latter-day Saint with a chip on his shoulder, I am neither of these. I am a devout Latter-day Saint with no ax to grind. I am simply giving an honest assessment of the movie.

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