I recently watched The Hudsucker Proxy starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Paul Newman, with appearances by Coen Brothers favorites John Mahoney, Steve Buscemi and John Goodman. It is the story of Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), an every man who comes to New York City hoping to make it big as a businessman with a great idea for an invention which I won't reveal. The only thing I"ll say is "you know, for the kids." The President of Hudsucker Industries, a prominent NY business decides to jump out of a window leaving the board in a quandary. Their solution? Hire a complete idiot to run their company so that the stocks drop and they can buy everything back on the cheap, then make mega millions once he is removed. Fast talking dame and pulitzer prize winning newspaper woman Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) connives her way into a job at Hudsucker to get the real scoop on Norville, portraying him as an absolute moron to the public. She discovers what is really going on behind the scenes at Hudsucker, but also discovers that she has fallen in love with Norville.
This film is more or less a conglomeration of practically every film Frank Capra ever made both in plot and in some of the shots. Norville is Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart in one package, while Amy Archer is Barbara Stanwyck meets Jean Arthur with some fast talking Rosalind Russell thrown in.
Norville's fall from grace versus...
As a great fan of Frank Capra I had a lot of fun with this film. It isn't one of the Coen's best, nor does it beat the classics it references (Jennifer Jason Leigh has the speech patterns and movements of a fast talking 30s career dame down pat but lacks the inner fire smoldering beneath the tough exterior that Stanwyck and Arthur possessed) but this film is worth it for the revelation of Norville's invention and a fun way to pass the time.