Moon over Parador

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Moon Over Parador
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Produced by Paul Mazursky
Screenplay by Leon Capetanos
Paul Mazursky
Based on "Caviar for His Excellency" by
Charles G. Booth
Music by Maurice Jarre
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Edited by Stuart H. Pappé
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
September 9, 1988 (1988-09-09)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $11,444,204[1]

Moon over Parador is a 1988 romantic comedy film, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Raúl Juliá and Sonia Braga. It is a remake of the 1939 film The Magnificent Fraud, based on the unpublished short story entitled "Caviar for His Excellency" by Charles G. Booth.


The film follows the exploits of film actor Jack Noah (Dreyfuss), who is filming in the small, fictional South American country of Parador when Paradorian President Alfonse Simms, a Pinochet-style dictator, suddenly dies of a heart attack. Not wanting to lose his position in power, the president's right-hand man, Roberto Strausmann (Juliá) forces Jack to take the 'role of a lifetime' - that of the dead president, as the two men look so much alike. Jack accepts, eventually winning over the people and even the dead president's mistress, Madonna (Braga). However, when Paradise proves to be too boring, Jack needs to find a way to get out while keeping Roberto out of the loop.



In the beginning, while both the President and Jack are in the scene, the President is played by Dreyfuss' older brother Lorin.

During a scene where Jack has to address the crowd as the Paradorian President, he ad-libs his lines and uses the text for the song "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. Sammy Davis Jr.'s rendition of Parador's national anthem is sung against the music for "Bésame Mucho". The previous Paradorian National Anthem ("O Parador") is sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree".

Director Paul Mazursky appears uncredited in drag, playing Simms' mother. Mazursky's wife Betsy appears at a buffet table and asks, "Por favor, is it safe to eat this lettuce here?" His daughter, Jill, plays the assistant director of the second film crew to shoot in Parador.



The film received mixed reviews and has a 42% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Despite opening at #1 in the box office, the film was unable to cover its production costs, making it a flop.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Golden Globe Award

  • Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" - Raúl Juliá
  • Nominated, "Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" - Sônia Braga


  1. ^ "Moon Over Parador (1988)". Box Office Mojo. 1988-10-11. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 

External links[edit]