Wednesday, May 03, 2006
For Your Consideration...Ishtar
Here is a bad movie that could have been saved. Ishtar has gone down in history as one of the worst movies made. But it didn’t have to be that way. Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty are a struggling musical act. They are on the road and performing in Ishtar. There they wind up being used as pawns between the USA and Ishtar when they meet CIA Agent Jim Harrison and a beautiful revolutionary. The fate of the Middle East winds up in their hands. Everything is actually pretty humorous up to this point. In the end they get the two countries to come to peace but one of the conditions is that the USA has to pay for them to release an album and go on tour to promote it. The tour and the album don’t go over well. That is where the movie ends. This film is a perfect example that a movie needs a good ending to do well. It all builds up to where you are expecting a wacky war scene at the end. Like a war scene from a Marx Brothers film. But no! We got a tour and an album that wound up in the cut out bins. That would have been the fate of the soundtrack if they had released it. Hoffman and Beatty made Mel Brooks sound as if he should win a Grammy. Considering how the movie fared at the box office Mr. Beatty must have been embarrased. You see I heard that in his contract for the movie Warren had a clause that they had to take out ads during Oscar time that said "For Your Consideration For Best Actor...Warren Beatty in Ishtar." They probably considered it for about 5 seconds. This movie had a pretty good plot. It had good acting. It had good directing by Elaine May. It just needed a better ending.