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
Elaine May remained aloof from the film's editing staff, taking copious notes during dailies but refusing to share them. As Columbia had feared, she shot a large amount of film as well, reportedly in one instance calling for 50 takes of vultures landing next to Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. See more »
By the chandelier when Jim talks to the Emir. See more »
I have never understood the seemingly universal disapproval of this fine film. Is it "Reds"?...No. Is it "Rain Man"?...No. Was it intended to be?...Of course not.
Ishtar is a comedy of the first measure. Start with two struggling musicians trying to make it big, who find themselves trapped in a circle of espionage and intrigue in a far away land. Include some of the funniest text ever written for the big screen. Add two of the greatest actors of our day, Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty, (both of whom are playing characters that could not be farther from the traditional roles that these actors have played, which was, I'm sure, a challenge in and of itself) and throw in a blind camel for good measure, and you have the recipe for a cinema classic. If this film had managed to avoid the negative press that it received early on, it would have gone done in history as one of the great comedies of the 1980's. Now, everyone wants to be on the "I hate Ishtar" bandwagon. It is truly unfortunate that this film has not received the credit that it deserves.
"Ishtar" is not the most under-rated film ever, but it may be close.
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