The Apostle (1997)

“You want the Lord to watch me kick your ass?” In The Apostle, (which he also wrote and directed) Robert Duvall expertly portrays a Pentecostal evangelist from Texas named Eulis “Sonny” Dewey who is on the run after he beats the shit out of a guy with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma. It turns out the bum, a youth minister named “Horace” (Todd Allen), was sleeping with Sonny’s wife “Jessie” (Farrah Fawcett). After ditching his car in a river, Sonny (assuming the moniker “The Apostle E. F.”) escapes to a small town in Louisiana and, with the help of another pastor, “Brother C. Charles Blackwell” (John Beasley), starts rebuilding a broken-down church as a form of redemption. As “Sonny,” Duvall gets to ham it up and spout off some great lines like “I’m a genuine, Holy Ghost, Jesus-filled preachin’ machine this mornin’!” The excellent supporting cast includes June Carter Cash as “Momma Dewey,” Miranda Richardson as “Toosie,” Billy Joe Shaver as “Joe,” Walton Goggins as “Sam” and Billy Bob Thornton as a racist construction worker simply billed as “Troublemaker.” An outlaw country music legend, Shaver recorded his classic debut album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, in 1973.

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