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.
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
After a month-long break, the New York scenes were shot in early 1986, at Kaufman Astoria Studios and various locations. Due to union work rules, Vittorio Storaro's Italian crew had to be doubled by a local standby crew, who were not needed much but drew full pay for the entire shoot. It was also necessary to stop production for several days so Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman could rehearse their songs. 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 »
Lyle Rogers, Chuck Clarke:
Telling the truth can be dangerous business; / Honest and popular don't go hand in hand. / If you admit that you play the accordion, / No one will hire you in a rock 'n' roll band. / But we can sing out hearts out. / And if we're lucky, then no neighbors complain. / Because life is the way we audition for God; / Let us pray that we all get the job.
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I know it's not the best. Arsenic and Old Lace is the top comedy of all time. Citizen Kane the greatest film. Gone with the Wind the greatest epic.
Wizard of Oz the finest fantasy. And L.O.T.R. 1,2,3 trilogy is the ultimate film legend.
But for me, Ishtar is pure fun. I saw it when it came out. Bought the video. Watch it twice a year and have my daughter hooked on it too.
It's the Vinyl Cafe /Dave and Morley type of humour that gets me. I can't hold a tune with a forklift and I find the singing style and lyrics of Rogers and Clark inspirational.
I feel for these guys. The Warren Beatty line to Dustin Hoffman " You'd rather have nothing, than settle for less. " reminds me of my own ( self-deprecating ) personal credo, 'Lower your standards and achieve! "
These innocents are taken on a journey of discovery through Ishtar and back home to the struggle against 'lives of quiet desperation.'
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