The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (Woody Allen) - 2001

Woody is the star investigator for North Coast Casualty & Fidelity in his romantic comedy set in 1940 when the men were all chain-smokers who wore short ties.  He has a hate/hate relationship with efficiency expert, Helen Hunt who is having an affair with the boss played by Dan Aykroyd.  All is well until Woody and Helen are hypnotized by magician/jewel thief (David Ogden Stiers) who uses them as stooges for his larceny.  As usual, Woody employs several great character actors including Wallace Shawn as the insurance detective/amateur magician, and Irwin Corey as the not-so-blind beggar and informant.  This may have been the last performance for Corey who is now 96.  The music is good.  The sets and costumes are great.  And, Woody manages to get himself into deep trouble and then to resolve the mystery in short order.  The verbal duels of Woody and Helen Hunt are worth the price of admission.  [JAM 11/9/2010]

["I had the ideas for Small Time Crooks, Curse of the Jade Scorpion, and Hollywood Ending, all three on the desk.  And I said, 'Hey, I'd like to knock off these three comedies and get them off my desk.'  And I did them one after the other.  There were people who said, 'Gee, he's doing trivial movies.  He's doing these lightweight comedies.'  But I don't think that way.  I just think, I want to do this one because it's on my desk.  That's the idea I wanted to do at the time." Conversations with Woody Allen - November 2006]

[" ... I, from my personal point of view, feel that maybe ... it may be the worst film I've made." Conversations with Woody Allen - February 2006]