When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries. Written by
The Coens do Capra, with their inimitable style and wit. More specifically, this is the innocent hick in the corrupt big city thing of Mr. Smith, Mr Deeds and Meet John Doe, complete with Tim Robbins as a suitably lanky substitute for Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper, and a wonderful fast-talking tomboy journo turn from Jennifer Jason Leigh. Paul Newman is similarly fantastic as the evil corporate bigwig, and the tale of a patsy turning the tables on his manipulators through his own naivety and innocence is perfectly packed with inspired moments, wonderfully fantastic set design, nutty dialogue, great music and that streak of brilliant lunacy running through all of the Coens' magical oeuvre. Makes my "top ten of the decade" for sure, this beauty can only mature and grow in stature over time.
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