27 user 12 critic

Wholly Moses! (1980)

PG | | Comedy, Fantasy | 13 June 1980 (USA)
An all-star comedy cast hams it up in this hilarious Biblical spoof.


Gary Weis


Guy Thomas




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dudley Moore ... Harvey / Herschel
Laraine Newman ... Zoey / Zerelda
James Coco ... Hyssop
Paul Sand ... Angel Of The Lord
Jack Gilford ... Tailor
Dom DeLuise ... Shadrach
John Houseman ... Archangel
Madeline Kahn ... Sorceress
David L. Lander ... Beggar
Richard Pryor ... Pharaoh
John Ritter ... Devil
Richard B. Shull ... Jethro
Tanya Boyd ... Princess
William Watson ... Bandit
Sam Weisman ... Talent Coordinator


Harvey and Zoey, two tourists travelling through Israel, discover an ancient scroll describing the life of Herschel, the man who was almost Moses. Herschel receives the command from God to free his people from Egyptian slavery, but Moses keeps blundering by and taking all the credit. Several other biblical stories, such as Lot and his wife, David and Goliath, and the miracles of Jesus, are also parodied in this story of the life of a man trying to follow the path to God, but somehow always seeming to lose his way. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wholly Moses! What a cast! See more »


Comedy | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The movie was originally titled "The Book of Herschel". See more »


Zerelda: Hey everbody! My husband, he's just talked with God. Come here! He's doing God now. He's doing God, just talked to him. Ok, go ahead, do it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast members Dom DeLuise, John Houseman, Madeline Kahn, David L. Lander, Richard Pryor, and John Ritter all received 'special appearance' credits. See more »


Featured in Vintage Video: Wholly Moses! (1980) (2020) See more »

User Reviews

An entertaining satirical comedy to relax and tickle you.
27 September 2005 | by ppilfSee all my reviews

I really liked this movie! It's a light satirical comedy. It doesn't try to be academy award material with a heavy story, overpowering special effects, or raw suspense, that seem to be the requirement to impress critics today. This movie achieves its goal very well; a couple of hours of zany humor. The comedic acting is very good, with a notable scene by Richard Pryor as Pharaoh. I really enjoyed Dudley Moore, Laraine Newman, and James Coco in this movie. There are also several funny celebrity cameos. The directing, film editing, camera work, and soundtrack were also very good. The humor has occasional adult content. If you want a break from heavy Hollywood blockbusters, and just want to enjoy an afternoon of chuckles and light humor, I recommend this movie.

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Release Date:

13 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Book of Herschel See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,625,280, 15 June 1980

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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