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
Warren Beatty and Elaine May quarreled and argued quite a bit off camera and especially in the editing room. Dustin Hoffman would serve as the mediator between the two of them. Beatty would also take sides against May in disagreements between her and Director of Photography Vittorio Storaro. At one point Beatty and May had an argument with May telling Beatty, "You want this scene your way? You shoot it!", and May would abandon the set for long periods of time. Beatty then reported the incident to the Columbia Pictures production representative, who then offered to fire May as director of the film on Beatty's behalf as producer of the film, but Beatty did not want to take on responsibilities of directing the rest of the film himself had May been fired, and did not want to contradict himself as the whole point of the film was to give May the chance she never really had to show her talents as director. Beatty told Columbia, if they were to fire May, he and Hoffman would abandon the film entirely as well. In the end, May stayed on board and ended up directing the entire film. See more »
By the chandelier when Jim talks to the Emir. See more »
It takes a lot of nerve to have nothing at your age, don't you understand that? Most guys'd be ashamed, but you've got the guts to just say 'to hell with it'. You say that you'd rather have nothing than settle for less, understand?
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I am aware of much of the criticism this movie received. Basically that it was awful and not worth seeing. To all those who have said such words I just have to ask, what movie were you watching? In my opinion Ishtar was a wonderful movie. It's about two grown men, whose only dream is to become great musicians but are so horrible that no one will have them but the tourist industry in Morocco. All the songs that these two, Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, sing are written by Elaine May and I found them to be simply hysterical. Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman make a great team, with humor vaguely reminiscent of Woody Allen. This is one of the only movies in which you get to see Warren act in such a way. I would defiantly recommend it to anyone despite its poor reviews.
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