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Due to legal complications we will no longer be publishing this edition.


(Elaine May, 1987)
Release date: Cancelled
Limited Edition Blu-ray (UK Blu-ray premiere)

Once the byword for expensive Hollywood failure, Ishtar is slowly – and rightfully – becoming recognised as one of the unsung greats of eighties' American cinema. In a nod to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road to… movies, Warren Beatty (Mickey One) and Dustin Hoffman (Straw Dogs) star as brilliantly awful songwriters who find themselves mixed up in Cold War shenanigans whilst in Morocco. Another comedy gem from Elaine May’s sadly small, but utterly perfect directorial career.


  • 2K restoration
  • Two presentations of the film: the 1987 Theatrical Cut (108 mins) and the 2013 Director’s Cut (105 mins)
  • Original mono soundtrack
  • Optional 5.1 surround sound
  • Audio commentary with ReFocus: The Films of Elaine May editors Dean Brandum and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2021)
  • Elaine May and Mike Nichols in Conversation (2006, 69 mins): archival video recording of the two friends and collaborators discussing their careers following a retrospective screening of Ishtar at New York’s Walter Reade Theater
  • Dangerous Business (2021, 23 mins): Paul Williams, writer of some of the world’s greatest songs, on how to intentionally pen some of the very worst
  • Fights and Seductions (2021, 18 mins): actor, comedian and filmmaker Richard Ayoade discusses the unique genius of Ishtar and Elaine May
  • Waiting for Ishtar (2017, 46 mins): Jonathan Crombie and John Mitchell’s charming documentary, featuring interviews with Williams, actors Charles Grodin and Carol Kane, journalists Peter Biskind and David Blum, film critic J Hoberman, and others
  • Austin Film Society Q&A (2019,39 mins): filmmaker Richard Linklater and programmer Lars Nilsen introduce and host a post-screening discussion at the AFS Cinema, Austin, Texas
  • You’re Equally Pretty (2021, 11 mins): video comparison examining the differences between the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Jessica Kiang, an overview of contemporary ‘making of’ accounts, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies

BBFC cert: 15
EAN: 5060697921045