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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Henry Graham is a man with a problem: he has run through his entire inheritance, and is completely unequipped to provide for himself. His childhood guardian, Uncle Harry (a deliciously ... See full summary »
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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
The idea for this film came about because Warren Beatty felt indebted to Elaine May who wrote the screenplay for his hit movie Heaven Can Wait (1978), and she also did an uncredited screenplay write on his Oscar-winning Reds (1981). Beatty wanted to give May a chance to make a film that she was artistically and commercially capable of making and offered to produce and be the lead actor in it. May presented the idea to Beatty about a Hope-Crosby Road to... type picture, and wanted to get another co-star, possibly Dustin Hoffman to sign on. Hoffman originally turned the movie down because of "misgivings", but eventually changed his mind after meeting with Beatty and his friend and confidant Murray Schisgaal. Hoffman, like Beatty was also indebted to May, as she did an uncredited writing job for his hit film Tootsie (1982). 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 »
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!
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