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Ishtar Details


Considered one of the great box-office turkeys of its decade, Ishtar was an attempt by writer/director Elaine May and stars Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty to do a modern-day road picture in the style of the much-loved Bob Hope and Bing Crosby comedy classics. Beatty is Lyle Rogers, a dimwitted songwriter who befriends and partners with Chuck Clarke (Hoffman), who is only slightly more intelligent but every bit as untalented. Together the duo dreams of becoming a big-time lounge act, but their songs, with titles like "That a Lawnmower Can Do All That," are unintentionally hilarious. Chuck becomes suicidal, but just when it seems they'll never strike it rich, the boys are offered a shady gig at a North African hotel, entertaining U.S. troops stationed in the tiny nation of Ishtar. On their way to accept the job, Lyle, Chuck, and their blind camel are sidetracked by a mysterious woman (Isabelle Adjani) and a scheming CIA agent (Charles Grodin), who are involved in a rebellion against the country's emir. The memorable songs crafted by Chuck and Lyle were written by actor and composer Paul Williams. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:May 15, 1987


Warren Beatty
as Lyle Rogers
Dustin Hoffman
as Chuck Clarke
Isabelle Adjani
as Shirra Assel
Charles Grodin
as Jim Harrison
Jack Weston
as Marty Freed, Talent Agent
Tess Harper
as Willa
Carol Kane
as Carol
Aharon Ipalé
as Emir Yousef
Phillip Schopper
as Waiter
John Freudenheim
as Screamin Honker
Haluk Bilginer
as Guerilla Leader
Maati Zaari
as Porter
Alexei Jawdokimov
as KGB Agent
Bruce Gordon
as Screamin' Honker
Adam Hussein
as Mohamed, The Camel Seller
Neil Zevnik
as CIA Agent
Fred Melamed
as Caid of Assari
David Margulies
as Mr. Clarke
Nadim Sawalha
as Rag Shop Owner
Bill Bailey
as Gen. Westlake
Arthur Brauss
as German Gunrunner
Alex Hyde-White
as CIA Agent
Matt Frewer
as CIA Agent
Abe Kroll
as Mr. Thomopoulos
George Masri
as Mohamed, The Camel Seller
Herb Gardner
as Rabbi Pierce
Bill Moor
as U.S. Consul
Eddy Nedari
as Mohamed, The Camel Seller
Rose Arrick
as Mrs. Clarke
Aziz Ben Driss
as Waiter at Chez Casablanca
Stefan Gryff
as KGB Agent
Warren Clarke
as English Gunrunner
Bouhaddane Larbi
as Taxi Driver
Howard Feuer
Mark Ryan
as Screamin' Honker
Bob Girolami
as Bartender
Julie Garfield
as Dorothy
J.C. Cutler
as Omar
Ron Berglas
as CIA Agent
Sumar Khan
as Ishtari,Gunrunner


Elaine May
Warren Beatty
Elaine May
Vittorio Storaro
Bert Kaempfert
Featured Music
Harold Arlen
Featured Music
Martin Charnin
Elaine May
Paul Simon
Paul Williams
Dustin Hoffman
Johnny Mercer
Featured Music
Dave Grusin
Composer (Music Score)
Stephen A. Rotter
Paul Sylbert
Production Designer
Tony Reading
Art Director
Victoria Paul
Art Director
Peter Childs
Art Director
Bill Groom
Art Director
Nigel Wooll
Associate Producer
David L. MacLeod
Associate Producer
Jim Erickson
Set Designer
Steven Jordan
Set Designer
Alan Hicks
Set Designer
Anthony Powell
Costume Designer
Don French
First Assistant Director
Peter Bucossi
George Marshall Ruge
Vic Magnotta
Howard Feuer
Ivan Sharrock
Sound Mixer
Alan Boyle
Robert Jiras
G. Mac Brown
Unit Production Manager
William Scharf
Associate Editor