Maximum Russell Crowe

Alex Ross


What it's about: A magician's assistant with her own hidden magical ability flees her rich, obnoxious fiance and ends up in Mexico. There she gets involved with a doctor's scheme to steal a magical elixir, and falls for the American photographer hired by her fiance to find her. A romantic comedy mixed with magical realism, the film is based on the novel "Miss Shumway Waves a Wand" by James Hadley Chase.

  • Also stars: Bridget Fonda (Myra Shumway)
    D.W. Moffett (Cliff)
    Jim Broadbent (Doc Ansell)

  • Directed by: Clare Peploe

  • Not-so-cool cameo: Comedian Paul Rodriguez, in need of a good bath.

  • Available on video
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    Russell Crowe as Alex Ross


    Filming took place in Los Angeles, Calif.; Tikai, Guatemala; and Michoacan, Mexico, a location for other films including My Family/ Mi Familia (1995) and the 1957 film, The Sun Also Rises, featuring another famous Aussie, Errol Flynn.

    First released in Europe in 1995, the film didn't make it to American theaters until 1997.

    It received mixed reviews, with many critics applauding Peploe's effort to do something different, but criticizing the finished product.

    Peploe is married to Academy Award-winning director Bernardo Bertolucci and is the sister of writer/director Mark Peploe.

    Obviously making a good impression on the Bertoluccis, Fonda co-starred in Bertolucci's 1993 film Little Buddha, while Moffett had a role in the director's 1996 film Stealing Beauty.

    Fonda's movie-related connections to Russell, in fact, are almost endless. Besides Little Buddha, she was in both City Hall and The Godfather III with Russell's The Insider co-star, Al Pacino; The Road to Wellville with Spotswood's Anthony Hopkins; Army of Darkness, directed by director Sam Raimi; The HBO film In the Gloaming, with David Strathairn (L.A. Confidential); Touch, featuring Lolita Davidovich (Mystery, Alaska); Singles with Roberts Blossom (Doc Wallace in The Quick and the Dead); and had an uncredited cameo in Drop Dead Fred starring Ron Eldard She also starred in Raimi's A Simple Plan as well as Lake Placid, written by David E. Kelley, also the writer of Mystery Alaska.



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