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The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Sport | 4 March 1981 (Sweden)
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania basketball team is hopeless. Maybe with the aid of an astrologer, and some new astrologically compatible players, they can become winners.


Gilbert Moses


David Dashev (story), Jaison Starkes | 2 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Julius Erving ... Moses Guthrie
Jonathan Winters ... H.S. / Harvey Tilson
Meadowlark Lemon Meadowlark Lemon ... Rev. Grady Jackson
Jack Kehoe ... Setshot
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Self
Margaret Avery ... Toby Millman
James Bond III ... Tyrone Millman
Michael V. Gazzo ... Harry the Trainer
Peter Isacksen ... Driftwood
Nicholas Pryor ... George Brockington
M. Emmet Walsh ... Wally Cantrell
Stockard Channing ... Mona Mondieu
Flip Wilson ... Coach 'Jock' Delaney
Marv Albert ... Self (as Marvin Albert)
Debbie Allen ... Ola (as Debra Allen)


The Pittsburgh basketball team is hopeless. Maybe with the aid of an astrologer, and some new astrologically compatible players, they can become winners. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In Bill Simmons' best-selling non-fiction book, "The Book of Basketball", he mentions that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar completely vanished from the climactic game's fourth quarter without any explanation. Simmons wrote that he researched and found two possible explanations: the shooting schedule was far behind, that Kareem had to leave the set and wasn't able to return, or Kareem found out that Julius Winfield Erving II was being paid more than him to appear in this movie and angrily walked off the production.

It was later revealed in 2013 by Julius Erving that Kareem was sitting in Director of Photography Frank Stanley's chair. When Stanley kindly asked Kareem for his seat back, Kareem responded by heaving the chair across the basketball court. That encounter marked the end of Kareem in this movie. See more »


The score before the timeout of the last game was Los Angeles 101, Pittsburgh 91, but when the game resumed, the Pisces made well over ten field goals. Their victory should have been by a double-digit margin. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Re-release VHS version comes in the original Karl Lorimar Home Video Box but is now labeled a Warner Home Video cassette and contains the edited television version of the film instead of the original uncut version released by Lorimar. See more »


Moses Theme
Music by Thom Bell
Lyrics by Casey James & LeRoy Bell (as Leroy M. Bell)
Performed by Frankie Bleu
See more »

User Reviews

I was a teen-age extra!
22 February 2000 | by tenor1See all my reviews

I was actually an extra in this movie, one of the worst sports movies ever made. I only did one day's worth of work and it was one of the most boring things I've ever experienced. I'm in the scene where someone supposedly puts helium in the basketballs and they float to the top of the Civic Arena. A crane (out of camera range) had thin wires attached to the balls. The director took about 10 takes of the scene. I thought I would lose my mind, trying to act surprised every time the balls "floated." When I saw the film I was shocked at how little screen time the shot got, but not as shocked at how bad the whole movie was. With a cast as good as it has you'd think they could save it, but the script was so bad even the great Stockard Channing couldn't help!

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Release Date:

4 March 1981 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,922, 4 November 1979

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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