Wholly Moses! is a clever, 1980 Biblical farce that has much in common with Monty Python's Life of Brian. Dudley Moore, between star-making performances in 10 and Arthur, plays Old Testament-era idol maker Herschel, whose life parallels that of the more famous Moses in many ways. Forced into the role of seer for Egypt's pharaoh, Herschel becomes convinced he has divine powers, until destiny proves otherwise and his subsequent misadventures as a slave, fake eunuch, and betrayed husband (Laraine Newman plays Herschel's unfaithful spouse) lead him to question the necessity of believing in any god at all. Wholly Moses! is directed by Gary Weis, perhaps still best known for his short works on the early Saturday Night Live, and the film plays like a succession of sketchy ideas. It does have powerful and inspired moments, however, including Herschel's dialogue with the devil (John Ritter) and the sight of James Coco sweeping small frogs. --Tom Keogh

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