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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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
Filming lasted from October 1985-April 1986. Columbia Pictures was originally going to release the film during the 1986 Christmas Season, but because of post-production troubles, and other budgetary issues the film was not yet ready for it's original December 1986 scheduled release date. The film's release was postponed until May 1987 in order to give Columbia enough time to get budget and post-production issues sorted out before the film hit theaters. The delay in the film's release also spread a negative vibe, that ultimately helped contribute to it's eventual overwhelming failure. See more »
When Marty Freed is sitting with Chuck and Lyle, after he first hears their act, he puts his hand up to his mouth ("Let me tell you what I told Tony Bennett..."). In the next shot, the hand is on the table. See more »
[Chuck and Lyle are songwriting at the bar after closing time]
Can't we just have half an hour?
Half an hour? Half an hour like the last half hour?
Hey, how about, how about "Give me half an hour like the last half hour"
Give me half an hour!
Like the last half-hour!
Give me half an hour!
Like the last half-hour!
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This is actually a brilliant comedy that utilizes the subtle jab to the funny bone rather than the thundering blow. Unfortunately, this type of humor died out sometime in the middle of the television show NEWHART's run. Why? Read The Wasteland! I don't know! Ishtar works in the same vein as Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. No, the jokes do not come out and slap you in the face... You have to look for them to find them. Needless to say, do not rent this if you want a cathartic, mindless jolt. However, do not slam this movie just because it isn't slaptick or screwball. (Which are the only kind of comedies made anymore!) Elaine May comes from the comedy team of Nichols and May (Yes, Mike Nichols! [In fact one could argue that the comedy in The Graduate is bad for the same reasons as the comedy in Ishtar is supposedly bad.]). This duo practically perfected the witty, acerbic brand of humor which is now completely missed and misunderstood but was used masterfully in this film. In the age of Saturday Night Live and Ace Ventura, a comedy of this sort most assuredly would bomb and continue bombing. Nevertheless, if you are sick and tired of being force-fed ridiculously bad, hackneyed comedy then I suggest renting Ishtar (then buying some Nichols and May albums and watching the Bob Newhart reruns on Nick at Nite). Oh... Carter was President when I was born by the way... This is not nostalgia!
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