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The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

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1:58 | Trailer

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

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Robbins ... Norville Barnes
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Amy Archer
Paul Newman ... Sidney J. Mussburger
Charles Durning ... Waring Hudsucker
John Mahoney ... Chief
Jim True-Frost ... Buzz (as Jim True)
Bill Cobbs ... Moses
Bruce Campbell ... Smitty
Harry Bugin Harry Bugin ... Aloysius
John Seitz John Seitz ... Benny
Joe Grifasi ... Lou
Roy Brocksmith ... Board Member
John Wylie John Wylie ... Board Member
I.M. Hobson I.M. Hobson ... Board Member
Gary Allen Gary Allen ... Board Member
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Comedy of Invention. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English | Finnish

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran salto See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,490, 13 March 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,869,369

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,991,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the final season of popular Korean War comedy series M*A*S*H (1972), an episode entitled "Who Knew?" employs a secondary plot line that closely mirrors that of this film: in the episode, Sgt. Klinger attempts to convince Maj. Winchester to invest in commercially producing first hula hoops, then frisbees. The credit for inventing both in the episode goes to bored Korean children on the streets of Soeul. See more »

Goofs

The letters that old-timer is sorting. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Barton Fink (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen
By Georges Bizet
Performed by Grace Bumbry
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Long Live The Hud!"

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


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