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
Opening film at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. See more »
When Norville is in the mail-room, telling the old mail-sorter about his invention, Norville holds up the drawing, and you can see Norville's lips are not moving when he says his line: "You know, for kids." 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...
62 of 105 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?