Telling The Truth Can Be Dangerous Business

Not if, but when Ishtar gets released on DVD (when that will be, I don’t know), those of us who love the movie will be vindicated as people see it for the comedic romp it is, and not the totally-panned flop it is seen as. To those who dismissed the movie due to its outrageous budget, for shame!

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I’ve witnessed countless people make the sour face when I bring up both films only to learn they have usually never even seen Ishtar or simply discount Bulworth as a silly mistake. How wrong they are. Some don’t even know the oftentimes genius Elaine May (who directed and co-starred in the sublime A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and directed both Mikey and Nicky and The Heartbreak Kid) directed Ishtar. But due to the press attacking the over-budget supposed turkey; it was maligned beyond the level of Gigli. The “Heaven’s Gate” of comedy.

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  1. Matt Love says:

    Oh, is that right! Rob, are you a member of the ILoveIshtar yahoo group? If not maybe you should be.
    I think this is going to be a great year for Ishtar… the 20th anniversary will mark a big resurgence. There is a documentary film about Ishtar fandom in the works, the manager of the Ishtar fan website ( is putting
    together a tribute CD featuring cover versions of songs from the movie, and possibly a US release on DVD (something the heathen in Europe have been enjoying for years). So shake off that square world, get with the countdown, and blast off to Ishtar!


  2. dave s says:

    admittedly, i only saw ‘ishtar’ when it was first released in theatres 20 years ago, but the 2 problems that i had with it were that i found it boring (sorry, rob, but all that ‘high adventure/intrigue’ stuff was deadly), and the humour seemed forced (i.e. i didn’t believe that beatty and hoffman’s characters were actually writing and singing the stuff they were performing in the flick). having said that, i will definitely check it out again when it gets a dvd release. one of the great things about movies is that they can be rediscovered, understood in a new context, and deservedly appreciated years after they were orginally released. i am 100% curious to see how i will react to ‘ishtar’ now. of course, my favourite ishtar has always been the one in ‘blood feast’.


  3. Ken says:

    Ishtar? You made me Wiki it, which was a Babylonian dead-end. Then I Googled it and see now that it was a maligned, overbudget movie with Duston Hoffman and Warren Beatty.
    Now I have to download it and see if it sucks.


  4. ghislaine says:

    I remember napping through Ishtar on rainy days at the cottage. Was there something about playing an accordian in a rock and roll band? that’s where my mind goes when I think “Ishtar” – rain and accordians.


  5. dylan says:

    I love Ishtar!! I often sing songs from the movie. Telling the truth can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don’t go hand in hand. If you admit that you can play the accordion. No one will hire you for a rock and roll band. (?) I think those are the lyrics.
    My two most wanted movie soundtracks are Bob Roberts and Ishtar.


  6. dylan says:

    OMG!! I found a site with the songs on it.


  7. Ken says:

    OK, my wife and I watched Ishtar last night. We were hysterical during the vultures in the desert scene. Beatty reminds me a lot of Will Ferrel or vice versa.


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