Duvall literally bet the farm on this film, which he directed and starred in. He financed the film himself, after the studios rejected him. The bet paid off. Not only was it a critical and art-house hit, The Apostle landed him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Sonny Dewey (Duvall) is a fire-and-brimstone Texas Pentecostal preacher whose enthusiasm is seen as a threat by many of his parishioners. Dewey has devoted his life to his parish, at the expense of his wife (Fawcett), who leaves him for another man. Dewey erupts in a jealous rage and commits an unthinkably violent crime. To save himself, he fakes his own death and hits the road. He ends up in a black Louisiana community where he becomes The Apostle and sets out to build a new church and find redemption. A superb, complex film.
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