Movie: "The Hudsucker Proxy"
Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Writing credits: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Sam Raimi
Plot: Some executives at a big company hire a guy who they think is an imbecile in hopes of driving the stock to rock bottom prices so they can buy 'em all up, but their fall guy may not be the numskull they believed him to be.
Review: I don't know how many times I've seen this movie over the years, but I can assure you, it's a lot. And after having seen it so many times, I can honestly say that it's hard to find any flaws whatsoever in The Hudsucker Proxy and that's why it gets the coveted 5-pickle rating which I rarely give out. The Coen brothers are obviously masters of their craft, but if you ask me, the Hud always stood out from their other films. Maybe it's because of the light-hearted nature of the film or all the exaggerated characters from the late 50's... whatever the case, it's a formula that couldn't have worked out more brilliantly. Naturally, like so many great films, it was a total flop at the box office, but more and more people are becoming fans of the Hud in recent years.
The story starts out with Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning), founder of Hudsucker Industries ("Long live the Hud!"), as he commits suicide by jumping out of the window on the 44th floor of the company building (45 counting the mezzanine). At this same moment, Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) is entering the building for his first day on the job at Hudsucker Industries, almost like a prophetic message that he would soon be taking Waring's place as the company CEO.
The board of directors worry because, with Waring dead, his controlling shares of the company stock will be made available to the public. So, Sidney Mussburger (Paul Newman), their leader of sorts, devises a plan to make the company stock seem virtually worthless by appointing a moron as the new President. He believes that by doing so, it will cause the public to panic and then the stock will be so cheap that the board of directors can buy it up for themselves.
Naturally, this leads to Norville becoming the company president. And although his ideas seem a bit simple, it's often the most simple ideas that strike gold, and his idea ("You know, for kids!") does just that. But Mussburger and the board of directors conspire against Norville and come up with a plan to make him their fall guy, literally. But just as the forces of evil are working against him, the forces of good are there to stick a wrench (or dentures) in the big clock that makes the world go 'round. I won't say any more about the story itself because I wouldn't want to ruin the experience for those of you who haven't already seen it.
If you couldn't tell already, the movie has a superb cast and features more recognizable actors than any other Coen brothers film. If you ask me, the real show-stealer of the movie is Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the sassy, fast talkin' career gal who's trying to get to the bottom of just what's going on at Hudsucker Industries. It's bar none, the best role of her career - and that's saying a lot because she's done some great work over the years.
The entire supporting cast seems like they were born to play the roles they were placed in. Whether it's Buzz the elevator operator, Moses the clock maintenance man, or Aloysius the creepy guy who scrapes names off of doors... you're gonna love every last one of 'em.
Oh, and for all you Bruce Campbell fans out there, he's got a nice little role in the film opposite of Jennifer Jason Leigh at the newspaper as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for him.
Sure, sure... it's a truly unique film and you owe it to yourself to see it immediately if you haven't already done so. I'm so convinced you'll absolutely love The Hudsucker Proxy that I'd bet my Pulitzer on it!
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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