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Ishtar (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  15 May 1987 (USA)
4.1
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 8,279 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 125 user | 45 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Ishtar (1987)

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Cast

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

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 (99) »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Иштар  »

Box Office

Budget:

$51,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,375,181 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman claims Warren Beatty told him several times on set in confidence, that he had made a mistake by agreeing to produce and star in the film. Hoffman said Beatty told him "I was going to give this as a gift to Elaine and it turned out to be the total opposite." Beatty said this in regards to the troubles of the film's production. He and May barely spoke for two years after the film's release. In 2008 May did attend and spoke at Warren Beatty's AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, implying that she and Beatty had reconciled and formed a friendship again. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Chuck Clarke: I see her standing in the backyard of my mind, she cracks her knuckles and the scab that's on her knee won't go away. I see the woman waiting in her eyes and I can see the love but I can't see the Brooklyn Dodgers in LA.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

HAVE NOT BLUES
Lyrics by Elaine May
Music by Warren Beatty
Performed by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
See more »

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User Reviews

The Truth About Ishtar!
8 January 1999 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

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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