The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

Overview

Writer and director Woody Allen returns to the Manhattan of the past with this romantic comedy set in 1940, the era of fedora hats and gumshoe detectives. Allen stars as C.W. Briggs, an insurance investigator whose razor-sharp instincts have just led to the successful conclusion of another case, the recovery of a stolen Picasso. While he's a valued employee, Briggs is under fire from efficiency expert Betty Ann Fitzgerald Helen Hunt for his antiquated attitudes and refusal to accept modern crime-solving ...
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Overview

Writer and director Woody Allen returns to the Manhattan of the past with this romantic comedy set in 1940, the era of fedora hats and gumshoe detectives. Allen stars as C.W. Briggs, an insurance investigator whose razor-sharp instincts have just led to the successful conclusion of another case, the recovery of a stolen Picasso. While he's a valued employee, Briggs is under fire from efficiency expert Betty Ann Fitzgerald Helen Hunt for his antiquated attitudes and refusal to accept modern crime-solving techniques such as fingerprinting. C.W. claims he puts himself directly into the criminal mind, a skill that will do him no good when he and Betty Ann are hypnotized at a Rainbow Room gathering one night by the magician Volton David Ogden Stiers. As a parlor trick to entertain their co-workers, Volton makes C.W. and Betty Ann believe they're a couple that's deeply in love. But the performer secretly keeps up the ruse after the party's over, calling C.W. to whisper a magic code word and ordering the detective to rob wealthy homes with security systems that C.W. himself has designed. With no memory of his thieving activities, a frustrated C.W. can't solve the high-profile jewel burglaries, while he and Betty Ann struggle with their odd new attraction for each other, made more complicated by the fact that Betty Ann is romantically involved with their boss Dan Aykroyd.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Hypnotism stirs up some daring crime and crazy love in The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a light comedy from Woody Allen. Set in 1940 New York City where else?, Jade Scorpion stars Allen as a streetwise, wisecracking insurance investigator who becomes a jewel thief under the influence of a hypnotic spell that also inspires a head-over-heels attraction for a feisty and antagonistic coworker Helen Hunt. This is Allen at his most optimistic, all nervous charm and one-liners; and the buoyant, period-jazz soundtrack bounces to the beats of Duke Ellington, Harry James, and Glenn Miller. Students of Allen's oeuvre will recognize similarities here both to his caper comedies, such as Small Time Crooks and Manhattan Murder Mystery, and to his 1980s magic-realist films, like The Purple Rose of Cairo and Alice. Additionally, the conflict between conscious and unconscious desire that emerges in Jade Scorpion -- we're talking hypnotism, here -- is easily recognizable as one of Allen's perennial themes. That aside, Jade Scorpion is one of Allen's most straightforward efforts, not quite a romp but good, angst-free fun.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
1/2
A real charmer from a director who feels that a knockabout romantic farce doesn't have to be mindless - take that, America's Sweethearts.
New York Post
1/2
As snappy as a felt-brim fedora, "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" is Woody Allen's most purely entertaining film in years, a romantic comedy set in a lavishly re-imagined Manhattan of 1940.

1/2
As snappy as a felt-brim fedora, "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" is Woody Allen's most purely entertaining film in years, a romantic comedy set in a lavishly re-imagined Manhattan of 1940.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/2002
  • UPC: 667068926736
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Dreamworks Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Woody Allen CW Briggs
Dan Aykroyd Chris Magruder
Helen Hunt Betty Ann Fitzgerald
Elizabeth Berkley Jill
John Schuck Mize
Brian Markinson Al
Wallace Shawn George Bond
Kaili Vernoff Rosie
Maurice Sonnenberg Office Worker
John Doumanian Office Worker
Charlize Theron Laura Kensington
Peter Gerety Ned
Kevin Cahoon Lunch Delivery Man
Philip Levy Rocky's Waiter
Vince Giordano & the Nighthaws the Nighthawks Rainbow Room All Star
Howard Alden Rainbow Room All Star
Ted Sommer Rainbow Room All Star
Randy Sandke Rainbow Room All Star
Peter Ecklund Rainbow Room All Star
Joel Helleny Rainbow Room All Star
Chuck Wilson Rainbow Room All Star
Ray Beckenstein Rainbow Room All Star
Lawrence Feldman Rainbow Room All Star
Ken Peplowski Rainbow Room All Star
Dick Hyman Band Leader
Carole Bayeux Voltan's Assistant
Kenneth Edelson Voltan's Participants
Brian McConnachie Voltan's Participants
Judy Gold Voltan's Participants
Herb Lovelle Night Guard
Carmen Rose Kensington
Patrick Horgan Kensington Guest
Howard Erskine Kensington Guest
Ira Wheeler Kensington Guest
Tina Sloan Kensington Guest
Ramsey Faragallah Fingerprint Detective
Bob Dorian Mike
Arthur Nascarella Tom
Trude Klein Kensington Maid
Prof. Irwin Corey Charlie
Michael Mulheren Herb Coopersmith
Peter Linari Joe Coopersmith
Ray Garvey Police Station Cop
Bruce Brown Radio Announcer
Dan Moran Street Contact
David Ogden Stiers Voltan
John Tormey Sam
Technical Credits
Woody Allen Director, Screenwriter
Letty Aronson Producer
Zhao Fei Cinematographer
Alisa Lepselter Editor
Santo Loquasto Production Designer
Suzanne McCabe Costumes/Costume Designer
Helen Robin Co-producer
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Juliet Taylor Casting
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