4.2/10
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132 user 44 critic

Ishtar (1987)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 15 May 1987 (USA)
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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Writer:

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Willa
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Carol
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Fijad Hageb ...
Abdul (as Fuad Hageb)
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Mr. Clarke
Rose Arrick ...
Mrs. Clarke
Julie Garfield ...
Dorothy
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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

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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,331,817, 17 May 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,375,181
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Interpersonal difficulties from Morocco continued in post-production. Elaine May was supposed to direct actors when they looped their lines in a recording studio, but sometimes left the job to Warren Beatty or one of the editors. Most of those absences were in sessions with Adjani, who was required to lower her voice since her character had to pass as a boy for most of the film. This strained her relationship with Beatty even more. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Lyle Rogers: You didn't have to leave with me, now I've spoiled the night for you.
Chuck Clarke: You gotta give yourself a break! You've never been out with anyone but your wife.
Lyle Rogers: Yeah, but you gotta have the looks, Chuck. I mean, you walk into a place like that and girls just want ya, ya know, ya got that kinda face. Kinda mean lookin' but with character. And the way you walk, you can only do that with a small body! Didya ever hear of a big sports car? I mean, if I'd look like you -...
Chuck Clarke: Oh, you so idealize me!
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Soundtracks

Half Hour Song
Lyrics and Music by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
Performed by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
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User Reviews

The Truth About Ishtar!
8 January 1999 | by 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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