What do you say about a movie everybody hates?
"Hey, all you people are wrong!"
In this case, that is just what you must say. Most of those who call this an awful movie have never seen
it. They have just been told that it was a bomb and they accept that it must have been because it was so bad. They make jokes about the film and
it becomes something that no one is willing to sit through. Life is too short to waste with bad movies. This one is not a waste of anyone's time.
Now, there are provisos involved. If you do not like dry wit (and yes, I did say "wit" for that dry form of humor is rife within this film) you will get this film. If all you can understand is slapstick (and I love that form of humor as much as any one) this is not going to be your cup of beer.
It is the story of two men who are, simply, the worst song-writers of this or any other time. What makes
them different is their refusal to believe that they are anything but undiscovered geniuses.
"It takes a lot of nerve to have nothing at your age."
Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty are brilliant at bringing to life to lovable schmucks who get caught up in international intrigue and CIA plots in the Middle East. They thought that they had one last chance to get booked somewhere in Morocco, and instead, end up wandering through the desert with a blind camel, running afoul of arms dealers and being attacked by CIA gun ships. And all the time, they never stop writing bad songs about it. Elaine May deftly mixes slapstick and satire, and, along with Paul Williams, writes songs that are so cringingly awful that they alone make the film worth seeing.
See this much maligned gem.
Here is the cast:
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
Matt Frewer . . . . CIA Agent
After you have seen the film, if someone tells you that "Ishtar," though they've never seen it, is the worst movie of all time, you can call them a "smuck."
Don't worry, once you've seen the movie
you'll get the joke.
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