By EW Staff
October 20, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT
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  • Movie

Whatever Joe Eszterhas (Showgirls, Basic Instinct) touches turns to controversy, so it was only a matter of time before moviegoers started wondering just what is going on in the billboards for the robo-screenwriter’s latest film, Jade, directed by William Friedkin. The poster for the Paramount movie, which opened last week, shows off the sensuous back of a mystery brunet leaning against a wall. Creeping up her outer thigh: a man’s hand.

A studio source confirms that the babe in the black dress is Linda Fiorentino, who plays Jade‘s sexually compulsive femme fatale. The offending hand does not belong to her costar, David Caruso, but rather to one of the film’s male tricks. And it is, indeed, breaking boundaries. The source admits that the poster is designed to make people think the man is administering oral sex to Fiorentino’s character.

Beyond breaking new ground, the poster is as practical as it is provocative: It conveniently enables Paramount to avoid putting Caruso’s mug on the one sheet. The box office draw of the former NYPD Blue star has been in serious question since Kiss of Death proved to be just that at theaters last spring. Nonetheless, Paramount denies any ulterior motives. ”The poster sums up what the movie is about: power and sexuality,” says a spokesman. ”We are selling a concept. David is in all the other marketing elements and there is no problem.”

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