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The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 24 August 2001 (USA)
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An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Tormey ... Sam
John Schuck ... Mize
Woody Allen ... CW Briggs
Elizabeth Berkley ... Jill
Kaili Vernoff ... Rosie
Brian Markinson ... Al
Maurice Sonnenberg Maurice Sonnenberg ... Office Worker
John Doumanian John Doumanian ... Office Worker
Peter Gerety ... Ned
Helen Hunt ... Betty Ann Fitzgerald
Kevin Cahoon ... Lunch Delivery Man
Philip Levy Philip Levy ... Rocky's Waiter (as Phil Levy)
Wallace Shawn ... George Bond
Dan Aykroyd ... Chris Magruder
Vince Giordano ... Rainbow Room All Star
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Storyline

CW Briggs is a veteran insurance investigator, with many successes. Betty Ann Fitzgerald is a new employee in the company he works for, with the task of reorganizing the office. They don't like each other - or at least that's what they think. During a night out with the rest of the office employees, they go to watch Voltan, a magician who secretly hypnotizes both of them, in order to use them for his dirty schemes. The next evening already, Briggs makes his first robbery, and when he wakes up in the morning he has no memory of it. Things get really complicated when he starts investigating the case. Will he be able to uncover... himself? Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love stings


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Dreamworks

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 August 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Fall Project 2000 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,459,315, 26 August 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,496,522, 14 October 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (Mono)| Dolby Digital (Mono)| SDDS (Mono)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"In a Persian Market" of Wilbur de Paris, the recurring theme song of the movie is played also in another Allen film: New York Stories (1989) See more »

Goofs

After returning to her apartment and waking up CW, Betty Ann turns on the radio and music plays immediately. However, the tubes in the radio hadn't been given any time to warm up. See more »

Quotes

C.W.: I hate her just like I hate that German Chancellor with the moustache.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Plaka mou kaneis! (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Tuxedo Junction
Written by Buddy Feyne, William Johnson, Julian Dash & Erskine Hawkins
Performed by Dick Hyman & The Rainbow Room All Stars
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A delightful gem for Woody Allen fans
27 August 2001 | by CombatShockSee all my reviews

First of all, since I am such a loyal fan of Woody's films, this may not be the most objective critique in the world. I have since my 18th year thoroughly enjoyed his witty dialogue, his comedic and sometimes darker explorations into life, love, and death. In addition, I adore the variety of early jazz scores that he uses for his films. That being said, Woody at 66 years of age has showed no signs of slowing down in his flm career, delivering by far the brightest and wittiest comedy I've viewed this year, in "Curse of the Jade Scorpion". The film is a homage to the Pulp films of yesteryear. It's set in 1940, Woody plays the role of an aging detective in an insurance company. He has cracked many huge cases, receiving information from street contacts, and relying heavily on gut instinct and dumb luck. He can't stand the new efficiency expert (Helen Hunt) who is smarter than he is, younger than he is, poses a threat to his job, and can't stand him either. During a dinner party for a fellow detective's birthday, they are both hypnotized by the magician Zolton, who uses the powers of the 'Jade Scorpion' to make them fall deeply in love with one another. He snaps them out of it just as they are about to kiss, but Zolton never releases them from the key word that can at anytime send them deep into suggestive hypnosis. Later on, Zolton calls CW Briggs, hypnotizes him with the keyword, and uses him as a pawn to rob jewelry from rich estates.

The casting in the film was excellent. There are supposed film "experts" out there who believe that Woody is too old for the lead in this film, and that it is unbelievable how Charlize Theron or Helen Hunt would ever fall for him. I wholeheartedly disagree. Throughout the film, Woody's character is not displayed as a handsome or romantic gent, in fact quite the opposite. In it he is called grubby, an inchworm, and a cockroach, just to name a few. Theron only wants to have sex with him as an experiment, since she is used to handsome and muscular men, not shrimpy and ugly ones. Helen Hunt is hypnotized into loving him, and vice versa, but when they're not under Jade's spell then they absolutely loathe each other ( I won't go any further into this so I don't spoil the film's ending.) Although Woody is ageing, his performance was outstanding, not losing a step as he delivers wise cracks and witty comments, one after the other. Helen Hunt also performs flawlessly and was actually a treat to watch her. As for the rest of the cast, Dan Aykroyd is decent in a small yet significant role, as well as Charlize Theron and Elizabeth Berkeley.

The cinematography and the visual setting for the film in jazzy 1940 is absolutely exquisite, it is much more polished then his earlier works. The writing is excellent, as I've said before, Woody hasn't lost one step in his writing or his performance. The jazz soundtrack is, as usual, very pleasant and fits very well with the scenery. Overall, "Curse of the Jade Scorpion" ranks as one of my favorite Woody films. If you are a fan of his previous light comedies then you will definitely enjoy this little film. So what are you waiting for? Head up to the theatre and see it on the big screen.


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