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The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)


Duration 1h 43m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Woody Allen
Writers/Script Woody Allen
Starring Woody Allen, Elizabeth Berkley, Helen Hunt, Dan Aykroyd, Charlize Theron,

Elevetor Pitch: CW Briggs is an insurance investigator who always solves the cases he is given. But he is faced with change in the insurance company where he works because the boss has hired his mistress, who is an efficiency expert and has CW in her sights. When they are both hypnotised by a magician at a company outing they are conditioned to do his bidding on receipt of a code word, as well as believing that they are in love with each other. When CW receives the code word by telephone he goes out and commits a robbery, but has no memory of it in the morning, nor has he any memory of expressing his love for Betty Ann the efficiency expert.

Content: It is implied that the socialite Laura Kensington, visits CW wearing only a raincoat, in order to seduce him.  CW and Betty Ann argue quite a bit, but she is distressed that Magruder, the boss, will not leave hs wife to marry her and CW saves her from jumping out of the window. When the magician telephones them their attitudes change and we, the viewers see them commit robberies. The robberies are investigated by others and CW is put in the frame. He has absolutely no understanding about how this could have happened, or why he is becoming enamoured of Betty Ann.

A View: By 2001 this had beccome Woody Allen’s most expensive movie, but it was not much liked by the critics, which might have resulted in its total failure at the box office. Actually Roger Ebert gave it three stars, while seeming to find much fault with it. He said that it just failed to take off. For me it is a comedy but there are no laughs, not even much of a smile. Since Woody Allen has produced a film every year since the middle-ages it would seem better to choose one which everyone liked. I’ll have to produce a list.

Additional Info:   Woody Allen only took on the role of CW Briggs because he could not find anyone else he thought suitable to take on the part.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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