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The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

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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:

They took him for a fall guy... but he threw them for a hoop. 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

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 »

Goofs

When Norville and Musburger get into the elevator together, the elevator doors open in the middle. When they get out on the first floor, the elevator doors open from one side to the other. 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

Referenced in Speed Racer (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Memories Are Made Of This
By Terry Gilkyson, Rich Dehr (as Richard Dehr), Frank Miller
Used by permission of EMI Blackwood Music, Inc.
Performed by Peter Gallagher
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't like black & white films? Read on...
24 June 2004 | by mr-mooSee all my reviews

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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