Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Hudsucker Proxy


Now the CBs tackle a “screwball” comedy, with results that are a little uneven, but successful. It’s a bit of a hybrid between His Girl Friday, complete with tough, wisecracking, fast-talking Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Roz Russell role, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, with Tim Robbins in the overnight success role played by Robert Morse. Only Tim is hired right out of the mail room by scheming Paul Newman, as the chairman of the Hudsucker corporation, to completely screw up the company and drive down the shares so he and the board can scoop them up quickly.

Only Tim has an idea. He always shows it to people as a simple circle dawn on a piece of paper. His only explanation: “You know … for kids.” They figure this for a sure-fire loser, and make millions of them. Trouble is, it’s the Hula Hoop.

So here’s a reversal. With some previous CB films, I didn’t like them much on the first viewing, and liked them a lot later 20 years down the road. With this one, I recall liking it quite a bit … but not so much now. I still laughed a lot, and was wowed by the sets and camera work and such, but the characters never really came alive. I still enjoyed it, but it is far from the Coens’ best.