Blu-ray Release: Ishtar

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 13, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $19.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Ishtar movie scene with Warren Beatty

Dustin Hoffman (l.) and Warren Beatty hit the Middle East in Ishtar.

Though it maintains a reputation for being one of Hollywood’s premiere flops, writer/director Elaine May’s 1987 movie Ishtar has developed a notable cult reputation over the past decade. Hmmmmm. Maybe Sony’s been waiting for the rep to grow before releasing this baby…

The comedy film tells the story of two past-their-prime singer/songwriters (Dick Tracy‘s Warren Beatty and Little Big Man‘s Dustin Hoffman) who go to the Far East to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel, but end up in the middle of an international melee during a layover in the fictional Middle Eastern state of Ishtar. Enter a foreign government, the CIA and left-wing revolutionary rebels….

The PG-13 rated movie came in with a budget of around $51 million, making it one of the most expensive Hollywood film of its day. When released in theaters, however, Ishtar — and director May, in particular — received mostly poor reviews and grossed only $13 million in wide release.

Ishtar also won a Razzie Award for Worst Director and was nominated for two other Razzie Awards: one for Worst Screenplay (also May) and another for Worst Picture (for Beatty, who produced the film).

With that kind of history, it’s not too much of a surprise that Ishtar has been announced for Blu-ray release before — no less than three times over the past three years, in fact. (Our favorite previously announced release date was Jan. 4, 2011, which would have made it a delightful post-holiday treat!)

Here’s hoping Ishtar makes its high-definition debut — finally — this time!

Check out the movie’s trailer:

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.