This Should Be Fun: Elaine May to Premiere, Discuss Director's Cut of Ishtar

Heads-up, NYC: Writer-director and comedy legend Elaine May will appear in person next week to discuss the never-before-seen director's cut of Ishtar, her infamous 1987 bomb starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. Tickets are going fast, as well they should be.

Not to be outdone by Daniel Radcliffe, May will be the next to take the stage at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, May 17, for a candid chat about one of the most notorious big-budget bungles in Hollywood history -- but one whose brutal critical reception a quarter-century ago has since softened with reappraisal by the likes of Jeffrey Wells and Richard Brody. Nevertheless, Ishtar -- featuring Beatty and Hoffman as a pair of hacky lounge singers embroiled in Cold War intrigue in North Africa -- has never been available on DVD or Blu-ray. (This despite Sony's initial plans to release it earlier this year.)

Moreover, according to the event's organizers, May's director's cut has never been screened publicly. And it's not as though May, the comic icon who got her start cracking wise with Mike Nichols in the '50s, makes many public appearances in the first place. So this has "real event" written all over it, and it could be the first domino to fall in the chain that will finally find Ishtar more readily available for fans and lookie-loos alike.

More details here, and of course, expect full coverage of the event here at Movieline.


  • Oh, wow, I'd love to see a director's cut of Ishtar. It's a great movie, totally unjustly maligned. Even the songs are really funny and good. I hope May is able to turn its reputation around.

  • John Tuttle says:

    How about re-releasing it WITH the soundtrack? 'Telling The Truth Can Be Dangerous Business'?!? You know we're out out here and we NEED IT.