HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Hudsucker Proxy, The How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Year: 1994
Director: Joel Coen
Stars: Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Charles Durning, John Mahoney, Jim True-Frost, Bill Cobbs, Bruce Campbell, Harry Bugin, John Seitz, Joe Grifasi, Peter Gallagher, Steve Buscemi, Anna Nicole Smith, Noble Willingham, Jon Polito, Mike Starr
Genre: Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: It's New Year's Eve 1958 and the clock at the very top of the Hudsucker building is about to turn to midnight, but not everyone is celebrating. One man has been shot up the corporate ladder but now is facing a vertiginous fall, not only in status and finance but literally as well. He is Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), who happens to be the head of company, so why is he edging out onto the ledge of the forty-fourth floor with plans to jump off into oblivion? To know that we must go back to the start of the month when he arrived in New York City fresh from business school and seeking a job...

The Coen brothers showed their aptitude for branching out in different directions with each film with The Hudsucker Proxy, as well as their love of old time Hollywood as they updated the styles of Frank Capra, Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks - but not to the nineties, to the fifties instead. This meant that when it was released, if you were not already a fan of whatever they were paying homage to, and indeed pastiching, then you might well have wondered what the point was with the result that the film did not exactly flourish at the box office, in spite of the backing of megaproducer Joel Silver which offered the Coens their biggest budget yet.

Perhaps the biggest problem was that no matter how sincere the filmmakers were in their endeavours to construct a tribute to their favourite movies, the whole thing looks like a send-up, so when those sincere moments arrive, they don't come across as any different to those where you're supposed to be laughing. But make no mistake: this was a lovingly crafted work, the production design alone is immaculate, with the cast rising to the occasion in roles that could have been written for the classic stars of yesteryear. As a matter of fact, they had one of those stars there in the shape of Paul Newman, not a name of the thirties and forties, but one of the fifties when this was set.

Newman gruffly played the villain of the piece, Sidney J. Mussberger, who springs into action when the head of Hudsucker Induistries (Charles Durning) takes a leap through the window of the boardroom and plummets those forty-four floors to the street below. There are plans in place for what to do when the leader dies, and that's giving over the stock to the public, which would mean the businessmen would lose the fortune they have built up and that would never do. Mussberger hits upon a brainwave: promote a schmoe to the top position and watch him run the company into the ground, then buy back the lower priced stock at the start of the new year; after that they can return to their former profits.

So who do they choose? That's right, Norville, who is working in the mailroom and happens to deliver a dreaded blue letter, but sees this as an opportunity to pitch his new product idea to Mussberger: a circle drawn on a piece of paper. We're not sure if Norville is as clever as he hopes he is, but Robbins finds the heart in the character as he is plunged into the world of big business way over his head - until his circle idea bears fruit. There's a moral about the landscape of the money men being akin to swimming through shark infested waters, and Norville cannot even trust the woman he grows to love, as she is Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh, somewhere between Rosalind Russell and Katharine Hepburn), an ace reporter out to expose the conspiracy. It's all very sweet, really, with the perils of self-awareness never far away, though if the situation grows grave for its lead character as suicide looms the sense of the Coens and co-writer Sam Raimi having fun with these brand new toys lifts it above its hollow centre. It was clever, amusing, but didn't quite strike a chord: a movie-movie. Music by Carter Burwell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3332 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: