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Moon over Parador
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Produced by Paul Mazursky
Starring Richard Dreyfuss
Raúl Juliá
Sonia Braga
Distributed by Universal
Release date(s) September 9, 1988
Running time 96 min.
Language English

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 It is a remake of the 1939 film The Magnificent Fraud, based on the unpublished short story entitled "Caviar for His Excellency" by Charles G. Booth.

Contents

Plot

The film follows the exploits of Jack Noah (Dreyfuss), who is filming in the small, fictional South American country of Parador (obvious portmanteau of Paraguay and Ecuador) when the Paradorian president-for-life suddenly dies of a heart attack. Not wanting to lose his position in power, the president's right-hand man, Roberto Strausmann (Raúl 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 (Sonia 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.

The movie attempts to generate suspense by establishing that Jack Noah is in physical jeopardy so long as he remains in Parador. However, the film is told in flashback, with an opening scene establishing that Jack has returned to New York City.

Production notes

The following concern production aspects of the film:

  • 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. Only Roberto catches on, a reference to Raúl Juliá's leading role (Don Quixote) in the Broadway version of Man of La Mancha.
  • Sammy Davis Jr.'s rendition of Parador's national anthem is sung against the music for "Besame Mucho".
  • The previous Paradorian National Anthem ("O Parador") is sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree".
  • Ralph (Jonathan Winters) tells a long story concerning an English pirate who founded the country of Parador to explain why Alphonse Simms has an Anglo-Saxon surname. The real reason is that the film was shot in Brazil, and director Paul Mazursky needed a shot of a crowd of Brazilian extras chanting the dictator's name. When the crowd is calling out "Simms! Simms!", they are actually chanting "Sim! Sim!" "Sim" is "yes" in Portuguese, the language of Brazil.
  • 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.
  • In the beginning, while both the President and Jack are in the scene, the President is played by Dreyfuss' older brother Lorin.

Cast

Locations

See also

External links

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