The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

JOEL COEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

United Kingdom/Germany/USA, 1994.  , , , .  Screenplay by , Joel Coen, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Ethan Coen.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 1994.  

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.

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