Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom/Germany/USA, 1994. Polygram Filmed Entertainment, PolyGram Filmproduktion, Silver Pictures, Warner Bros., Working Title Films. Screenplay by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Sam Raimi. Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Produced by Ethan Coen. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Dennis Gassner. Costume Design by Richard Hornung. Film Editing by Thom Noble.
Stylish and witty film by the Coen brothers that pays tribute to the Frank Capra/Preston Sturges comedies of yesteryear. When Hudsucker Industries loses its president (Charles Durning) to suicide, crooked board member Paul Newman decides to get a lowly mail clerk (Tim Robbins) to take over as chairman in order to give the ruling board a puppet with which they can control their corporation. Robbins, in true Mr. Deeds/Mr. Smith fashion, turns out to be more than just a nice guy, managing to become a shrewd businessman and with the help of a Jean Arthur-esque reporter (Jennifer Jason Leigh talking a mile a minute) outwit all of his enemies. The Coens are obviously very creative, but their film is so intent on being a tribute that they go over the top and make their references too obvious, robbing the film of any chance of having its own charm or originality.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition