Holy Man

This article is about the film. For other uses, see Holy man (disambiguation).
Holy Man

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Herek
Produced by
Written by Tom Schulman
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Adrian Biddle
Edited by Trudy Ship
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • October 9, 1998 (1998-10-09)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[2]
Box office $12.1 million[2]

Holy Man is a 1998 American comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Herek, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston, Robert Loggia, Jon Cryer, and Eric McCormack. The film was a critical and commercial failure.


Ricky Hayman and Kate Newell work at the (fictional) Good Buy Shopping Network, a home shopping channel run by John McBainbridge. Sales have been down over the last two years under Ricky's management, and Kate was brought in to come up with new ideas. Ricky views Kate as a threat and she expresses her dislike for him as well. However, John has given Ricky an ultimatum to increase sales, or lose his job.

While out driving one day, Ricky and Kate come across a charismatic strange man who calls himself "G". G is unusual in that he wears white robes and is perpetually happy and smiling. He seems to sense how troubled Ricky is, and follows them back to the Good Buy studio. G wanders onto the set of an infomercial, and while he is on the air, the number of calls increases with customers wanting to buy something. Kate notices this and gets G his own spot on the network selling items. Meanwhile, the mutual dislike between Ricky and Kate has faded and they begin to express romantic interest in each other.

G's infomercials are mostly spontaneous anecdotes or thoughts about life, but customers connect with him and even the slowest-moving items begin selling out. While staying at Ricky's house, he enters a party of businessmen and displays his talents by making a Rolex watch "disappear" and curing another man of his fear of flying. Ricky begins marketing G's name on other items to increase sales. He wants to give G his own show, but the stressful work environment and throngs of fans who want to meet him begin to take its toll. G is no longer the happy, inspiring man he once was, and when Kate tries to convince John to let G leave the network, he refuses and she quits out of contempt. Ricky reaps the benefits of the increased sales, receiving a large promotion and a new office. However, the rewards seem hollow due to G's lethargy and Kate's rejection of him.

On the night of the premiere of G's new show, Ricky searches himself and decides that letting G go is the right choice. He announces his decision to the studio audience and to his boss. Kate hears of his decision and forgives Ricky, racing back to the studio to be with him. They have a romantic reunion on the air, and the show is ended. Afterwards, Ricky and Kate say their goodbyes to the fully recovered G, who wanders off into the distance to continue his pilgrimage.



According to Splitsider, John Candy was signed on for the role played by Murphy back in 1993, a year before the former's death.[3]


Box office

Holy Man was a major box office failure, as it grossed $12,069,719 in North America, compared to its budget of over $60 million.[2][4]

Critical response

The film received largely negative reviews, with criticism aimed at the script and acting. Based on 50 reviews collected by the film review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, 12% of critics gave Holy Man a positive review, with an average rating of 3.6/10.[5][6][7]

In June 2009, Murphy referred to Holy Man as a "horrendous movie". Although he did not identify the film by name, he mentioned it on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien as a reference to the film he starred in featuring a cameo with singer James Brown.[8] In November 2011, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Murphy again, this time outright, called Holy Man a horrendous movie.[9]


  1. "Holy Man (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. October 21, 1998. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Holy Man (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  3. Evans, Bradford (2 June 2011). "The Lost Roles of John Candy". Splitsider. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  4. "'Holy Man' Needs Miracle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  5. "Holy Man (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  6. "FILM REVIEW; Raising Consciousness, Lightening Wallets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  7. "Holy Man". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  8. Murphy, Eddie; O'Brien, Conan (June 9, 2009). "Eddie Murphy, Angela Kinsey, Bonnie Raitt & Taj Mahal". The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Season 1. Episode 7. Universal City, California. NBC.
  9. "Eddie Murphy on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon". LateNightWithJimmyFallon.com. Retrieved Nov 6, 2011.

External links

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