Name: Curse of the Jade Scorpion (1984)
IMDb: link to IMDb
Genres: Comedy Country of Origin: USA.
Cast: Woody Allen as C. W. Briggs, Helen Hunt as Betty Ann Fitzgerald, David Ogden Stiers as Voltan, Dan Aykroyd as Chris Magruder, Charlize Theron as Laura Kensington, Elizabeth Berkley as Jill, John Schuck as Mize, Wallace Shawn as George Bond.
Written and directed by: Woody Allen.
The initial tableaux: CW Briggs is a very successful insurance investigator who has a long track record of recovering stolen goods. He also has betting problems, but his biggest problem is Betty Ann Fitzgerald, the new efficiency expert. She wants to undermine his way of doing things, and would probably like him to leave the company. By an odd circumstance, Briggs and Fitzgerald get dragooned into being subjects of hypnosis. The hypnotist, Voltan, plants a keyword on each of them so that he can induce the trance state later.
Delineation of conflicts: The old guard represented by CW versus the new business processes of 1940 represented by Fitzgerald. Magruder, who runs the company, wants to be with Fitzgerald, but is wishy-washy about leaving his wife. Voltan intends to use Briggs and Fitzgerald to leverage their interior knowledge of rich families' homes to complete major robberies on the sly. Fitzgerald hires two private detectives to 'help' CW.
Resolution: Voltan is rather successful at first. The private detectives and the police catch up with his efforts, but do they catch the right suspect?
One line summary: Woody as insurance investigator in 1940.
a. Cinematography: 10/10 Beautifully shot. Loved it.
b. Sound: 10/10 The sound is fine, and the musical accompaniment was good for 1940.
c. Acting: 9/10 Allen was in his element, and Helen Hunt was fine as his sparring partner. I liked Stiers, Shawn, Aykroyd, and Theron quite a bit. I saw no bad acting at all.
d. Screenplay: 9/10 I watched the film as a comedy, and must have laughed at least 20 times. The one-liners were sharp, the situations outrageous and funny.
Final rating: 9/10