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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:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$104,490, 13 March 1994

Gross USA:

$2,816,518

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,816,518
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

This is John Goodman and Steve Buscemi's second collaboration since Barton Fink (1991). 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 »

Connections

References Safety Last! (1923) 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

 
A Fun Homage to Capra
9 January 2004 | by snazelSee all my reviews

This is a fun film - very lighthearted with beautiful sets, fast paced dialog and caricatures at every corner and turn.

It seems to pay homage to old Capra screwball comedies - and it's pretty much old fashioned farce right from the beginning.

The film is far from perfect. Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance is labored. She tries to squeeze every last snicker she can with her character. She misses the mark in my opinion, moving and talking with so much effort and pace - just to get a laugh - that in the end, she gets none.

Paul Newman goes the other way - he understates his character and when contrasted to the lunacy of both the environment and the story around him - it makes for some great scenes. He makes a great villain in this movie - and for me, he's a large reason why the movie works.

Tim Robbins does a good job, especially at the start of the film. His best moments come when the story and the environment overwhelm his character.

There's great moments, like the ridiculous Muncie fight song, the Monty Python-esque mail room, Charles Durning with wings and the grim, faceless board members - with their inane questions and so frightened to lose their authority that they agree to virtually anything.

This film isn't genius or anything, but if you enjoyed the antics of something like 'Arsenic and Old Lace' then this is worth catching. It's delightfully silly - and has some interesting visuals and symbolism along the way.


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