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Ishtar (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  15 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 8,401 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 125 user | 47 critic | 16 from

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)

Ishtar (1987) on IMDb 4.1/10

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


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 (100) »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Иштар  »

Box Office


$51,000,000 (estimated)


$14,375,181 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino' and Edgar Wright are fans of the film. See more »


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


Chuck Clarke: [Chuck and Lyle are writing a song] Shit man, when you're on you're on.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #30.197 (2014) See more »


Sitting on the Edge of My Life
Lyrics and Music by Dustin Hoffman
Performed by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
See more »

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User Reviews

A truly under-rated film.
30 December 1998 | by (Woodbridge, VA) – See all my reviews

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.

64 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If you like Ishtar yakipoo
why dos everyone hate this movie noer86
Hands down one of the worst movies I've ever seen. So bad I walked out ShazzMatazz
Dustin Hoffman defends Ishtar on Talk of the Nation nnnn8
Hell's video store madmoizelle
Quentin Tarantino introduced Ishtar last night at a screening horrorbargainbin
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