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The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  11 March 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 61,964 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 207 user | 76 critic | 19 from

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Buzz (as Jim True)
John Seitz ...
Roy Brocksmith ...
Board Member
John Wylie ...
Board Member
I.M. Hobson ...
Board Member
Gary Allen ...
Board Member


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 Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


At Hudsucker industries there's a fast way to the top...and an even faster way down! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran salto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$2,869,369 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joel Silver wanted Tom Cruise to star as Norville Barnes, but The Coens insisted on Tim Robbins. See more »


The time period of this film is the last month of 1958, i.e., December. Yet, when the Hula Hoop hits the stores, the Toy store shown shows nothing indicating Christmas is only a few weeks away, and all but a few of the boys shown in that sequence are wearing short-sleeved shirts, impossible in a New York December. See more »


[first lines]
Moses the Clock Man: That's right. New York. Nineteen fifty eight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Main Title Sequence and Other Cool Stuff Designed and Produced by BALSMEYER & EVERETT, INC. See more »


Flying Home
By Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton
Courtesy of Regent Music Corporation/Jewel Music Publishing Co., Inc.
Performed by Duke Ellington
Courtesy of Blue Note Records
A division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

"Long Live The Hud!"
11 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Another fascinating piece from the Coen Brothers, 'The Hudsucker Proxy' is an homage to the films of the 1930s. From the grey faux-Gothic cityscape to the over-the-top acting and rapid fire dialogue to the subdued colors to the stark sets, this film hearkens back to an earlier era of films.

The plot is simple enough. When company president Waring Hudsucker commits suicide, the board of directors, led by the deliciously evil Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman) determines to devalue the stock by putting a 'shmoe' in charge of the company so that when the late Hudsucker's controlling interest in stock hits the market in 30 days, Mussburger's cabal can snap it up on the cheap. Enter shmoe Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins). Jennifer Jason Leigh is the newspaper reporter who infiltrates Hudsucker Industries under the guise of secretary, and is Barnes' love interest in the film.

Robbins performs more than adequately but is outshone by terrific performances by Newman and, in particular, by Leigh, who absolutely nails this role. Her saucy, lilt of the tongue is wonderful; she simply oozes sensual sass, and all in the very decent parameters of decades gone by in Hollywood.

Other highlights of the film include - the wonderful sets, where less is more; the usual Coen cinematography, which makes the film a visual delight above and beyond acting and plot; the clock (an unbilled role, in a sense). Curious characters pop up and return – Buzz the Elevator Operator, the Clock Maintainer, and many others. And, of course … that clock!

As will all Coen brothers films, this one calls me to see it again, as I always seem to discover new elements when watching their works for the second, third, fourth times, and beyond. A very worthwhile film – enjoy!

7 out of 10

90 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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