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The Hudsucker Proxy

A movie directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

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What comes around, goes around

  • May 17, 2000
Pros: Newman - what a friggin guy!

Cons: ...

Quite a bizarre twist of fate. President and CEO of Hudsucker Industries has taken that fatal big step out of the top floor window. Suddenly a high profile position in a relatively successful company is available and is given to all people - a mail room boy. Of course, there is a foul plan afoot, why else choose this unknown for a high power position?

Chairman of the board, Sidney Mussburger has decided to place Norville Barnes in the position of President of Hudsucker, believing his ineptitude will run the company into the ground. This will afford him and his cronies the opportunity to buy up the stock cheap, get rid of Barnes, and make a killing on the resale of the stock. What they didn't take into consideration was Norville Barnes.

Seeing as how Barnes is an unknown, moved into this auspicious position, a good deal of media frenzy ensues. Heading the pack is Amy Archer, a hard-nosed pretentious piece of work - proud owner of n Pulitzer Prize which she constantly rubs in your face. Her investigations have the desired effect, stock plummets.

Amy, in an attempt to get real insider information, joins the Hudsucker team as Norville's secretary, under an assumed name, and of course falls in love with him. In the meantime, Norville has come up with an idea for a little toy to revolutionize the ages - the hula hoop! Sales skyrocket, stock soars, Mussburger is angry!

He and his cronies toss Barnes out the same office window as his predecessor but fate intervenes in the form of an angel - the original Hudsucker. Given a second chance to right his wrongs, Norville uncovers the nasty underbelly of the firm and is successful in getting Mussburger and his cronies thrown out, restoring Hudsucker Industries to the decent business it was in the past.

Clearly the infamous Coen brothers are so in awe of the classic movies they flood your senses with too many stars, too much action, brittle scenes, too much dialogue and exhausting detail. You come away overwhelmed with information.

A powerful movie, well worth the two hour running time. Stars: Tim Robbins (Norville Barnes), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Amy Archer), Paul Newman (Sidney Mussburger), Charles Durning (Waring Hudsucker) and two small cameos - Peter Gallagher as the lounge singer and Anna Nicole Smith as Za-Za.


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More The Hudsucker Proxy reviews
review by . February 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
When Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) pulls a small creased and stained scrap of paper from his shoe to show his new company's boss (Paul Newman) his great idea, he points eagerly to the circle penned on the square, and when Newman just blinks disgustedly at him, Barnes says "you know, for kids". This of course is after a stunning barrage of events that started the movie:     --Hudsucker Industries has just had its best year ever with all signs looking up, but company founder Hudsucker …
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2013
Hayseed from the midwest fresh out of college gets an entry level position at a huge company and moved up to the presidency as a way of depressing stocks so that the board can take ownership. Fast talk doesn't carry many laughs with the regular Coen wackos in comedy and the story depends on some phenominal production design to carry it the film which it thankfully does.
review by . November 05, 2001
I admit I didn't see this movie for years because of its strange title, but it kept appearing in various places. Finally, I put it on my "to watch" list and it was an enjoyable movie. Waring Hudsucker, head of Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, come up with a plan to make a lot of money and appoint a moron to run the company and drive down stock prices. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and co. plan to buy the stock for pennies on the dollar, …
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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


The Coen brothers (Raising Arizona,Fargo) have become the most consistently original filmmakers in the land. In a salute/reworking of the fast-talking comedies of the '40s, we follow Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) and his amazing rise to the top. But he's only a puppet for the evil Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman), who wants the company for himself. The Coens' design is the real star, and their first big-budget film will stimulate movie fans. The story weakens in the middle, but you will find very few films that move with this much imagination. As a Kate Hepburn hybrid, Jennifer Jason Leigh is wonderful in an almost unplayable role. The less you know about the film, the better it plays, so just think of it asHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Tryingmixed withBraziland every journalistic drama made before 1960. Cowritten by Sam Raimi.--Doug Thomas
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