WHOLLY MOSES

year: 1982
cast: Dudley Moore, Laraine Newman, James Coco, Richard Pryor, Paul Sand, John Ritter
rating: ***

I like this much better than "History of the World Part 1", the Mel Brooks spoof about the Old Testament. While not entirely hilarious the characters are interesting enough to carry things along. Dudley Moore is a guy on an Israel bus tour which then takes a lunch break. He and new found friend Laraine Newman find a cave and some ancient scrolls, and Moore reads about an infant who, while floating down stream in a tiny ark, is pushed aside by another infant in another tiny ark... this luckier more wily infant reaches destiny first, and he's Moses... while the other baby floats further downstream, is raised by a poor family, and as an adult (Dudley Moore) chisels pagan idols with his father (James Coco) who's posing as his slave (guilty for having gotten rid of him). As the story continues Moore is thrust into various situations following the Bible including Sodom and Gomorrah, the Burning Bush, etc., and Newman is his love interest. The lightly amusing, flowing storyline and the bevy of "special guests" (Richard Pryor, John Ritter, Dom Deluise, and many others) make for a watchable, time-passing parody.

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