Holy Man

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This article is about the film. For other uses, see Holy man (disambiguation).
Holy Man
Holy man.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Herek
Produced by Ray Murphy
Rebekah Rudd
Written by Tom Schulman
Starring Eddie Murphy
Jeff Goldblum
Kelly Preston
Robert Loggia
Jon Cryer
Eric McCormack
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Adrian Biddle
Edited by Trudy Ship
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • October 9, 1998 (1998-10-09)
(United States)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $12,069,719 (North America)

Holy Man is a 1998 comedy film directed by Stephen Herek. It starred Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum and Kelly Preston. The film was a box office and critical failure.


Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum) and Kate Newell (Kelly Preston) work at the (fictional) Good Buy Shopping Network, a home shopping channel run by John McBainbridge (Robert Loggia). 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" (Eddie Murphy). 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.


Actor Role
Eddie Murphy G
Jeff Goldblum Ricky Hayman
Kelly Preston Kate Newell
Robert Loggia John McBainbridge
Eric McCormack Scott Hawkes
Jon Cryer Barry
Morgan Fairchild Herself
Betty White Herself
Florence Henderson Herself
James Brown Himself
Soupy Sales Himself
Dan Marino Himself
Willard Scott Himself
Nino Cerruti Himself
Jennifer Bini Taylor Hot Tub Girl
Adriana Cataño T.V. Hostess
Eugene Levy Guy on Background T.V. (uncredited)

According to Splitsider, John Candy was signed on for the role played by Murphy back in 1993, a year before the former's death.[1]


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][3]

The film received mostly negative reviews, with critics complaining about the script and the 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.[4][5][6]

In June 2009, Eddie 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.[7] In November 2011, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Murphy again called Holy Man a horrendous movie.[8]


  1. ^ Evans, Bradford (2 June 2011). "The Lost Roles of John Candy". Splitsider. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Holy Man (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ "'Holy Man' Needs Miracle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Holy Man (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ "FILM REVIEW; Raising Consciousness, Lightening Wallets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  6. ^ "Holy Man". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  7. ^ 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. NBC. 
  8. ^ "Eddie Murphy on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon". LateNightWithJimmyFallon.com. Retrieved Nov 6, 2011. 

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