Synopsis by Karl Williams
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.
agent [representative], behind-the-scenes, entertainer, espionage, friendship, on-the-road, politician, war