Moon over Parador
|Moon Over Parador|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul Mazursky|
|Produced by||Paul Mazursky|
|Screenplay by||Leon Capetanos|
|Based on||"Caviar for His Excellency" by|
Charles G. Booth
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Edited by||Stuart H. Pappé|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|September 9, 1988|
Moon over Parador is a 1988 American 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 It is a remake of the 1939 film The Magnificent Fraud, based on the unpublished short story entitled "Caviar for His Excellency" by Charles G. Booth.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, invites him and the cast and crew to the film at their palace. Simms seems delighted at Jack's imitation of him.
Suddenly, Alfonse Simms 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). For over a year, the two bond and she shows Jack how the people are suffering in the middle of a dictatorship, specially at the iron hand of Roberto (the real power behind scene) against the rebels.
Jack creates a plan where, in the middle of a show featuring Sammy Davis Jr, he (as Simms) is apparently gunned down by an assassin. Before dying, "Simms" accuses Roberto as the true enemy, leading to his death at the hands of the crowd. Inside a van, Jack escapes. Months later, he's telling the story to his friends, who don't believe a word of it. Jack is happy to learn that Madonna lead a revolution and is now the elected president of Parador.
- Richard Dreyfuss - Jack Noah/President Alphonse Simms
- Lorin Dreyfuss - the real Alphonse Simms
- Raúl Juliá - Roberto Strausmann
- Sonia Braga - Madonna Mendez
- Dana Delany - Jenny
- Jonathan Winters - Ralph
- Fernando Rey - Alejandro
- Michael Greene - Clint
- Polly Holliday - Midge
- Milton Gonçalves - Carlo
- Charo - Madame Lupe
- Marianne Sägebrecht - Magda Feldmarck
- Sammy Davis, Jr. - Himself
- Ike Pappas - Himself
- Edward Asner - Himself
- Reinhard Kolldehoff - Gunther Feldmarck
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.
- New York City, New York, USA
- Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 42%, based on 12 reviews, and an average rating of 4.8/10. Despite opening at #1 in the box office, the film was unable to cover its production costs, making it a flop.
Awards and nominations
- 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