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The Hudsucker Proxy

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, Germany, USA

1994

Rated PG • 1h 51m

Director Joel Coen

Starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Charles Durning

Genre Comedy, Drama

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A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

30

Washington Post by

Another ultra-stylized movie-about-movies by the Cannes-winning Coen Brothers, Hudsucker is clever but cold, a heartless mechanical gizmo. The actors rattle around tinnily like shiny marbles inside its cavernous sets and hollow script.
63

Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

The comedy has moments of great humor and terrific visual appeal. It's a solid achievement for Joel Coen, who directed; Ethan Coen, who produced; Sam Raimi, who wrote the screenplay with the brothers. [25 Mar 1994, p.A]
50

Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

At its best it's a free-form fantasy with glitzy, well-executed effects and assorted metaphysical conceits but little feeling for any of the characters apart from derision (with a few touches of racism here and there).
80

Empire by Kim Newman

While not to everyone's tastes, this is without doubt one of the most exhilarating films of 1994.
67

Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

Hudsucker Proxy works more like a fairy tale in which all implausibilities are acceptable and none of it has to play by real-world rules. But it's a fairy tale without any lessons, a satire without any targets.
30

Time by Richard Schickel

The Coens have deliberately cut themselves off from their best subject. Try as they will to create a vision of corporate (and urban) hellishness through sheer stylishness, theirs is a truly abstract expressionism, at once heavy, lifeless and dry.
50

Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The movie is that it's all surface and no substance. Not even the slightest attempt is made to suggest that the film takes its own story seriously. Everything is style. The performances seem deliberately angled as satire.
40

Variety by Todd McCarthy

The Hudsucker Proxy is no doubt one of the most inspired and technically stunning pastiches of old Hollywood pictures ever to come out of the New Hollywood. But a pastiche it remains, as nearly everything in the Coen brothers' latest and biggest film seems like a wizardly but artificial synthesis, leaving a hole in the middle where some emotion and humanity should be.

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