4.3/10
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Ishtar (1987)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 15 May 1987 (USA)
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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 C.I.A., the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.

Director:

Elaine May

Writer:

Elaine May
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty ... Lyle Rogers
Dustin Hoffman ... Chuck Clarke
Isabelle Adjani ... Shirra Assel
Charles Grodin ... Jim Harrison
Jack Weston ... Marty Freed
Tess Harper ... Willa
Carol Kane ... Carol
Aharon Ipalé ... Emir Yousef
Fijad Hageb Fijad Hageb ... Abdul (as Fuad Hageb)
David Margulies ... Mr. Clarke
Rose Arrick Rose Arrick ... Mrs. Clarke
Julie Garfield Julie Garfield ... Dorothy
Cristine Rose ... Siri Darma (as Christine Rose)
Robert V. Girolami Robert V. Girolami ... Bartender (as Bob Girolami)
Abe Kroll 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Иштар See more »

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After a month-long break, the New York City 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Chuck Clarke: I'm leaving... some love in my Will. I'm leaving... some love in my Will. My life is nearly over, and time goes by so fast. So I'm going to give you a present, to thank you for the past...
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 8 secs by the BBFC to remove uses of the word 'fuck' in order for the film to receive a PG rating. The cuts were restored in 2004 to the 15-rated DVD release. See more »


Soundtracks

Portable Picnic
Lyrics by Elaine May and Paul Williams
Music by Paul Williams
Performed by Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
my favourite movie as fun
18 September 2004 | by kdeluca-1See all my reviews

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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