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USA 1994
Directed by
Joel Coen
111 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4.5 stars

The Hudsucker Proxy

A brilliant fusing of the madcap style of the late 1930s and early 40s Hollywood comedies with a clutch of films dealing with the capitalist monolith versus the little man, from Metropolis to Brazil, The Hudsucker Proxy is a treat from beginning to end. The screenplay by Joel & Ethan Coen and Sam Raimi crackles with verbal and visual wit whilst the direction, cinematography (by Roger Deakins) and special effects are all stunningly handled.

Both Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh are wonderful with Leigh particularly feisty in a role that is part Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday and part Jean Arthur in Mr Deeds Goes To Town whilst Paul Newman has great fun with his role as the cigar-chomping villain of the piece and Charles Durning appears all too briefly as Waring Hudsucker.

Somewhat surprisingly, on its theatrical release the film did not do particularly well either commercially or critically, many finding it wanting in substance, but when it comes to wit and craft it doesn't really get any better than this, one of the Coen's most under-rated movies.




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