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 secretary of the Hudsucker brainstormers (uncredited Mary Beth Peil) is reading throughout the Hula Hoop manufacturing sequence the novels "War & Peace" and "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy. The idea is to show that the brainstormers are really taking their time to determine the name of the product since the novels have, respectively, 1225 and 864 pages and are commonly known for being books you would spend a lot of time reading. In her case, if you'd consider 4 minutes per page, 8 hours a day, both books would've taken 18 days to read. See more »
Dr. Bronfenbrenner's film of Norville's psychiatric session begins with a SMPTE Universal leader that counts down from 8 to 2. This type of film leader wasn't developed until the 1960s. The film would have actually had either an Academy leader counting from 11 to 3 with black film in between or one of the brand new (for the late 1950s) SMPTE Society leaders that counted from 11 to 3 but had focusing cross hairs, rather than black film, between the numbers. See more »
The foregoing was a fictional account of the development of the HULA HOOP® and the characters bear no resemblance to any real person or business concern. The HULA HOOP® was actually developed by the founders of the toy company WHAM-O®, a true American success story. WHAM-O® was subsequently responsible for the development of the FRISBEE® and numerous other toy products. See more »
As I have seen this film more times than I can count, I could just describe it to you in the minutest of detail, but that's been done on here many times already. What I will say is this: If you've never been interested in those 'old' films (i.e. anything before 'Police Academy 5'), then please read what I've got to say, and then watch this film.
First though, a (very) brief history of film comedy:
In the beginning, there were silent films. Charlie Chaplin made some, and generally speaking, they were rubbish.
Then came 'The Talkies', and comedy films began to include - you guessed it - talking. However, they were mostly still just people getting hit on the head by pianos, and as such, they were funny, but not exactly thought-provoking...
Then there was 'screwball'; an awful description of some of the finest and funniest films ever made, which used fast-talking, wise-cracking characters to devastating effect. Preston Sturges did them better than anyone else, and suddenly, films were funny AND clever.
This film then, is the Coen Brother's tribute to their hero, and it is staggering. It has loads of the hallmarks of your typical, great Coen Brothers film - stunning to look at, great voice-over, funny looking fat-faced people, etc, but best bit of all is the dialogue, which easily stands up to to comparison with that of any of the 'classic' screwball comedies, and therefore, with the best of all time.
A word of warning, though - don't expect to be able to sit back and take in everything this movie has to give without concentrating. A lot of the talking in it is FAST, and the gags come so quick that if you're not careful, you WILL miss some perfectly-crafted little vignette on life, and you'll have to use the rewind button.
As you can probably tell, I really can't describe how good this film actually is. All I will say is that I highly recommend watching it on Christmas Eve, like I do every year, as seeing it will fill your heart with so much joy that the impending fights with close relatives will seem a million miles away...
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