Ishtar (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  15 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 8,406 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 125 user | 47 critic | 16 from

Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Harrison
Marty Freed
Emir Yousef
Fijad Hageb ...
Abdul (as Fuad Hageb)
Mr. Clarke
Rose Arrick ...
Julie Garfield ...
Siri Darma (as Christine Rose)
Robert V. Girolami ...
Bartender (as Bob Girolami)
Abe Kroll ...
Mr. Thomopoulos


Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime. Written by Stern

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

emir | cia | map | morocco | hotel | See All (100) »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Иштар  »

Box Office


$51,000,000 (estimated)


$14,375,181 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The filmmakers appreciated the Moroccans' hospitality and willingness to cooperate, but there was no one in the country with experience supporting a major Hollywood film production. Requests by the producers were sometimes unfulfilled, and calls for local extras led to thousands of people showing up. See more »


By the chandelier when Jim talks to the Emir. See more »


Chuck Clarke: [Reading a note passed by the waiter] Oh my God, this guy's a songwriter and he liked my song! He wants to buy me a drink!
See more »


Referenced in Marijuana's Revenge (2004) See more »


How Big Am I?
Lyrics by Elaine May
Music by Paul Williams
Produced by Paul Williams and Michael James Jackson
Performed by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
Executive Producer Paul Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Funny Movie
2 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

I have no idea why "Ishtar" is often called "the worst movie ever made." It is rolling-on-the-floor, sidesplittingly hilarious! The scene towards the beginning with Hoffman and Beatty writing *really* bad songs, and the ones later in the film with a very cantankerous camel had me laughing so hard tears were coming out of my eyes. I saw the movie at the recommendation of a friend, without having heard any of the media hype, so I wasn't biased against it. I can't understand why the critics bandwagoned against it so heavily. They must have absolutely no sense of humor. Maybe they were expecting another "Reds" or "Little Big Man" or something, instead of a higher-class "Spies Like Us."

Everyone I know thinks "Ishtar" is a very funny movie. Even my mom liked it!

30 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If you like Ishtar yakipoo
why dos everyone hate this movie noer86
Hands down one of the worst movies I've ever seen. So bad I walked out ShazzMatazz
Dustin Hoffman defends Ishtar on Talk of the Nation nnnn8
Hell's video store madmoizelle
Quentin Tarantino introduced Ishtar last night at a screening horrorbargainbin
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