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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:

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

As of 2016, this is the only PG-rated movie directed by the Coen Brothers. All of their other films have carried either R or PG-13 ratings. See more »

Goofs

When Norville is carrying Amy into his office, he opens the door with is buttocks, where the sign man is painting his name on the door. When he bends over to lay Amy down, there is no paint on his buttocks. But two scenes later he bends over again, the writing from the door can be seen on his pants. 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 »


Soundtracks

In A Sentimental Mood
Written by Duke Ellington (uncredited)
Performed by Duke Ellington
Used by permission of Mills Music, Inc. and Famous Music Corporation
All rights reserved
See more »

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User Reviews

The lighting, the sets, the colour, that clock!
17 October 2003 | by lebowski_achieverSee all my reviews

This is one good looking movie and has many Coen recognisable signature quirks to make it worthy of a comparison to their earlier and later works. I will come back on those quirks later.

I love the way the Coens always combine high-brow subtlety with low-brow slapstick which makes it so accessible. This movie is not heavy on subtlety but there are some genius moments in it to make it watchable again and again. Newman for one is great in this movie and having the best of times. He makes minimal acting an artform. Really, he could act anyone of that screen with his eyes closed. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a contrast with her hand waving,her Katherine Hepburn- affected-ballsy way of speaking and general overacting but I guess she sets the scene quite brilliantly to complement the decor and general 30's feel of the movie. You see, apparently the Coens have a penchant for the 30's movies style(and so they should.. Many a great movie was made in that decade) but the story in which an imbecile's dingus, against all odds became a total Fad and all the rage, doesn't quite fit that decade. I can't think of any Dingus which became all the rage in the thirties (life was too hard for thingamabobs then, I suppose) and the earliest example, the hoolahoop, was definately a brainchild of the 50's (Life was good and spendable income to buy doodahs was more readily available ). I don't mind that at all but I was confused to find out that it was set in the 50's because of all the visual and audible references to the 30's. If Mussburgers office wasn't an art-deco Love-fest (that clock!)I don't know what is.

I guess this review is definitely style over content but you know what? That just doesn't matter because plot is secondary to the visuals, and dialogue in this movie. And that is just alright by me. It is the reason why these movies are so good for repeat viewings. Once you know a plot, you are not likely to watch it again just for the plot's sake. It is the sights, the sounds the dialogue that makes you want to watch a movie again and again. Oh you don't believe me? Name your favourite movie (not the one you tell your friends is your favourite but the one you watch again and again). What makes you want to watch it repeatedly? Is it because you want to know what happens for the 100th time? Ofcourse not! You want to watch it for the 100th time because of the dialogue, the fun, the special effects the object of your desire etc. etc...

Now I am not saying that plot is not important but I am saying that what makes Coen Brother's movies so good is that they think about their viewer/audience who wants to watch their movies until they can repeat every line in the movie(and becoming sad anoraks in the process). I actually know people who watched the Big Lebowski half way and walked out of the cinema only to find them Lebowski addicts after one more viewing. I am not naming names but you know who you are...

I liked this movie the first time round... I know I will love it later...

Now for the Coen parallels between this movie and the Big Lebowski:

Jennifer's way of speaking was similar to Julianne's Maud. They were both "feisty" Brunettes who fall for the main character(I wouldn't call 'em heroes)

The voice over to remind us that it is a fairytale at the beginning and end by guardian-angel-types. (Sam Elliot in Big and Bill Cobbs in the Hudsucker) Bizarre Dance Dream Sequences that have nothing to do with the plot but are hugely enjoyable. Blond Bombshell (Anna-Nicole Smith in Hudsucker and Tara Reid in the Big Lebowski)Who want to seduce the hero. Steve Buscemi. Memorable Lines...

So all in all I guess I recommend it!

****


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