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1905, the cinematograph has reached Southern Italy, and casts fear among the people to whom it seems a devilish trick. They call it "o 'imbroglie din t'o lenzuolo" - "The Trick in the Sheet", as white sheets were used for screening.
Maria Grazia Cucinotta,
Woody Allen plays Tex, a kosher butcher. Sharon Stone plays his unfaithful wife Candy. Tex catches Candy in the act and in a fit of rage he kills her. To conceal his crime he cuts up her body and buries it in the desert in New Mexico. However, when her hand surfaces, a blind woman trips over it and it restores her sight. The hand is then considered to be the "hand of the Virgin." Despite the church's fallen priest objecting, the ambitious mayor of the town creates an international three-ring circus of miracle-seekers, TV crews, and born-again local prostitutes all interested in the hand. All of this goes on while Tex is desperately trying to recover the hand before the sheriff finds it and uses it as evidence against him. Written by
One of the cheesiest movies ever made -- and not in a camp way!
I watched this movie on Cinemax in stunned silence. It contains some of the most sophomoric writing and cheapest sight gags one can imagine outside of a frat-house revue. Throughout the film, both Woody Allen and Sharon Stone keep fixed and glazed grins on their faces, as if they can hardly believe they're saying these horrible lines. That this cast and this director would produce this travesty passes all understanding.
The problem isn't the subject matter (hey, I'm all for irreverent treatment of organized religion!), it's that the plotting and the execution leave you wishing you'd spent the last two hours jabbing straight pins into the back of your hand. Or, perhaps, your eyes.
It is a film without charm, without wit, without subtlety, without surprise. Your move.
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