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Moon Over Parador (1988)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 9 September 1988 (USA)
A US actor gets a gig in South American Parador. When the dictator dies, he's forced to play him for real and gets his mistress. Can they change Parador?


Paul Mazursky


Charles G. Booth (story), Leon Capetanos (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Jack Noah / President Alphonse Simms
Raul Julia ... Roberto Strausmann
Sônia Braga ... Madonna Mendez (as Sonia Braga)
Jonathan Winters ... Ralph
Fernando Rey ... Alejandro
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Sammy Davis Jr.
Michael Greene ... Clint
Polly Holliday ... Midge
Milton Gonçalves ... Carlo
Charo ... Madame Loop
Marianne Sägebrecht ... Magda
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Gunther
Richard Russell Ramos Richard Russell Ramos ... Dieter Lopez
José Lewgoy ... Archbishop
Dann Florek ... Toby
Learn more

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Little known actor, Jack Noah, is working on location in the country of Parador at the time the dictator dies. The dictator's right hand man, Roberto, makes Jack an offer he cannot refuse.. to play the dictator. Jack's acting skills fool the masses but not close friends and employees of the dictator. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome to Parador. The Dictator's cold, the First Lady's hot, the people are revolting... and Jack Noah just got the role of his life. See more »


Comedy | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Jill Mazursky: Director Paul Mazursky's daughter as the assistant director of the second film crew to shoot in Parador. See more »


Roberto Strausmann: Who sent for you?
Dieter Lopez: His Excellency.
Jack Noah: Mr. Lopez... uh... Dieter.
Dieter Lopez: These documents need your signature.
Roberto Strausmann: He has to read them first.
Dieter Lopez: But of course.
Roberto Strausmann: Leave us!
Dieter Lopez: But, these papers are very urgent, your Excellency. It's for the new dam.
Roberto Strausmann: Damn the dam! Get out!
See more »


Begin the Beguine
By Cole Porter
Performed by Sammy Davis Jr.
See more »

User Reviews

Wildly Funny Send-Up of 'Royal Pretender' Theme...
28 September 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

MOON OVER PARADOR, Paul Mazursky's follow-up to the brilliant 'social class' comedy, DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS (1986), reteams the director with star Richard Dreyfuss, in one of the funniest 'Look-alike on the Throne' comedies of the past two decades.

The theme (a stand-in replaces an incapacitated or unavailable leader) has been a popular subject in film for years (THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, THE PRISONER OF ZENDA, I WAS MONTY'S DOUBLE, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, and DAVE are just a few examples), but Mazursky gives it a novel twist by making the 'hero' a ham actor of epic proportion (and NOBODY plays an egotistical actor better than Dreyfuss!), and the 'villain', a ruthless advisor who is a frustrated director, as well (Raul Julia, who is wickedly funny in the role).The comic chemistry between the pair works so well that you could easily mistake the film as being written by Neil Simon!

Parador, a tiny Caribbean nation where English is the national language, and revolution, the national pastime, is ruled with an iron hand by President Simms (Dreyfuss, with a moustache, paunch, and swarthy complexion). A larger-than-life, womanizing scoundrel, Simms is controlled, in turn, by opportunistic Secret Police chief Roberto Strausmann (Julia). Making a social visit to a American movie set, the dictator meets the picture's star, Jack Noah (Dreyfuss, again), who is goaded by his castmates into doing his popular over-the-top impression of the leader (fortunately for Noah, Simms finds it amusing).

After the shooting wraps, Noah, encouraged by a local American 'businessman' (Jonathan Winters, in a funny cameo), decides to stay for a few days to indulge at a national festival. Meanwhile, Simms is being soundly condemned by Strausmann for his public affair with Madonna, a notorious prostitute (played by Sonia Braga), as well as for his unhealthy lifestyle...and the dictator keels over and dies!

Things look bad for Strausmann, until he remembers the American...and Jack Noah is about to be 'drafted' to play the role of his career...

Full of humorous references to Broadway (Strausmann has reviews of EVERY play Noah had ever appeared in...and quotes some of the more 'colorful' ones, to the actor's chagrin), sight gags (Noah, as Simms, starts the befuddled household staff on a program of aerobics), and cameos (Sammy Davis Jr. sings Parador's 'National Anthem', and Mazursky, himself, appears in drag, as Simm's mother), MOON OVER PARADOR is a comic gem, with an over-the-top climax (which would be 'lifted' for Ivan Reitman's 'American President' comedy, DAVE), and a bittersweet ending that will certainly bring a smile to all but the most jaded viewer.

This film is DEFINITELY a keeper!

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Release Date:

9 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moon Over Parador See more »

Filming Locations:

Brazil See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,268,975, 11 September 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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