Coenpalooza! The Hudsucker Proxy

(USA, 1994, 111 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Charles Durning, John Mahoney, Jim True, Steve Buscemi


New Year’s Eve, 1958. What brings mailroom boy Norville Barnes to the very edge of suicide? An enormous stroke of luck seems to be the correct answer. When CEO and founder Warring Hudsucker (Charles Durning takes a dive from his office window), corporate honcho Sidney J Mussburger (Paul Newman) seizes the moment and sizes up Norville for an astronomical promotion. He figures with this patsy installed as corporate president the stock will plummet, and he’ll be in prime place to pick up the pieces.

Written by the Coens with their friend Sam Raimi, The Hudsucker Proxy is an echt screwball comedy in the syncopated style of Frank Capra, Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks. Not that those masters would have troubled themselves with the dazzling Art Deco production design or the breathtaking bravura camera moves, but this is the Coens in their element, reworking Hollywood classicism into something even more fabulous than we remember it.

"Criminally overlooked and sinfully wonderful Coen brothers comedy." Scott Weinberg, efilmcritic