The Hudsucker Proxy


The Hudsucker Proxy

Critics Consensus

Intriguingly strange and visually distinctive, The Hudsucker Proxy is ultimately almost -- but not quite -- as smart and absorbing as it needs to be.



Reviews Counted: 41

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,175


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Sam Raimi and Joel and Ethan Coen wrote this stylish satire about the rapid rise of a naive mailroom clerk in the shark-filled waters of Hudsucker Industries.

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Tim Robbins
as Norville Barnes
Paul Newman
as Sidney J. Mussburger
Charles Durning
as Hudsucker
Peter Gallagher
as Vic Tenetta
Noble Willingham
as Zebulon Cardozo
Steve Buscemi
as Beatnik Barman
Jon Polito
as Mr. Bumstead
Roy Brocksmith
as Board Member
I.M. Hobson
as Board Member
John Scanlan
as Board Member
Jerome Dempsey
as Board Member
John Wylie
as Board Member
Gary Allen
as Board Member
Richard Woods
as Board Member
Peter McPherson
as Board Member
David Byrd
as Dr. Hugo Bronfenbrenner
Christopher Darga
as Mail Room Orienter
Pat Cranshaw
as Ancient Sorter
Robert Weil
as Mail Room Boss
Mary Lou Rosato
as Mussburger's Secretary
Ernest Sarracino
as Luigi the Tailor
Eleanor Glockner
as Mrs. Mussburger
Kathleen Rose Perkins
as Mrs. Braithwaite
Joseph Marcus
as Sears Braithwaite of Bullard
Barbara Ann Grimes
as Mrs. Cardozo
Thom Noble
as Thorstenson Finlandson
William Duff-Griffin
as Newsreel Scientist
Pamela Everett
as Dream Dancer
Arthur Bridges
as The Hula-Hoop Kid
Sam Raimi
as Hudsucker Brainstormer
John Cameron
as Hudsucker Brainstormer
Skipper Dune
as Mr. Grier
Jay Kapner
as Mr. Levin
Mike Starr
as Newsroom Reporter
Tom Toner
as Newsroom Reporter
Richard Whiting
as Ancient Puzzler
David Fawcett
as Newsroom Reporter
Linda McCoy
as Coffe Shop Waitress
Peter Siragusa
as Newsroom Reporter
Karl F. Mundt
as Newsreel Announcer
David Gould
as Newsroom Reporter
Nelson George
as Newsroom Reporter
Joanne Pankow
as Newsreel Secretary
Mario Todisco
as Norville's Goon
James Deuter
as New Year's Mob
Colin Fickes
as Newsboy
Cynthia Baker
as New Year's Mob
Dick Sasso
as Drunk in Alley
Jesse Brewer
as Mailroom Screamer
Philip Loch
as Mailroom Screamer
Stan Lichtenstein
as Mailroom Screamer
Ed Lillard
as Newsroom Reporter
Ace O'Connell
as Mailroom Screamer
Frank Jeffries
as Mailroom Screamer
Todd Alcott
as Mailroom Screamer
Richard Schiff
as Mailroom Screamer
Lou Criscuolo
as Mailroom Screamer
Michael Earl Reid
as Mailroom Screamer
Harry Bugin
as Aloysius
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News & Interviews for The Hudsucker Proxy

Critic Reviews for The Hudsucker Proxy

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (11)

  • A visually arresting but emotionally uninvolving dark comedy.

    Nov 6, 2007
  • A jeering, dreamlike comedy with nothing much on its mind except how neat the Coen brothers are and how stupid or contemptible everybody else is, including everyone in the audience.

    Nov 6, 2007 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 6, 2007

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • A minor work, but confirmation of the Coens' position among America's most ambitious, able and exciting film-makers.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Movies are, after all, about fakery; so is the story of Norville's rise and fall and redemption.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5
  • If something brilliant is happening in The Hudsucker Proxy -- and you're meant to believe that it is -- it's apparent only to Ethan and Joel Coen.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hudsucker Proxy

Saw it this time on DVD. Very mannered and art-deco stylish and Tim Robbins is perfect as the rube from Muncie, which I just love saying....Muncie, Muncie, Muncie. As anyone who has every worked in a corporation knows, this movie is spot-on send-up of that weird subculture culminating in the required moment of silence for the deceased president which will then be docked from the employees pay. Perfect. Jennifer Jason Leigh is superb as the double-dealing dame and Paul Newman was suprisingly sinister as what's his name. While I actually didn't remember any of it from the first time I saw it -- which is usually a sign of ordinary plot and stereotypical characters in my case-- the rest of the movie's themes and loook more than made up for it.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

Really my least favorite of all the Coen's films. Weak performances from the leads.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Its a kid's coen brothers movie. Entertaining from beginning to the end with Tim Robbins playing a great role along with Paul Newman. Its not daring or bold, but its stylish and fun.

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Norville: It's fun, it's healthy, it's good exercise. The kids will just love it. and we put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.  "At Hudsucker's industry there's a fast way to the top... and an even faster way down!" The Hudsucker Proxy is one of the best screwball comedies you could ever wish to see. It's a movie that is so stupid, it's brilliant. The creative minds of Joel and Ethan Coen bring some of there dark themes to an overall light and hilarious film. The movie isn't Fargo or Barton Fink, but it isn't supposed to be. It's closest to Raising Arizona, when you look at there filmography, but it is even better. I am not ashamed to say that The Hudsucker Proxy is one of my favorite Coen films. Norville arrives in New York and takes a job as a basement mailman at Hudsucker Industries. As he is going in, the president of the company is jumping out. The company high ups now decide to make an imbecile the new president so that stock prices will plummet allowing them to buy them all at an extremely low price. So they hire Norville. Norville brings an overstated stupidity to the movie, along with an amazing idea for the company; mainly in a circle on a piece of paper. "You know... for the kids."  What I love most about The Hudsucker Proxy is what I love most about every Coen brothers film and that would be all the bizarre, random stuff that happens. This random stuff always seems like it isn't really progressing the story, but it always is. This film is as clear an indicator of the Coen style as any film they have ever made. It has all the bizarre characters like the elevator man Buzz and the fast talking journalist. It has dark themes like suicide covered up by all it's dumb humor. It has an all knowing narrator who works the Hudsucker clock. It is all brilliant and under-appreciated.  The Hudsucker Proxy is easily the Coen's most underrated film they have made. Most of their movies are adored by critics and the public alike, but somehow this one was not as well received. It's completely impossible for me to understand how someone can adore the Coen's and not love this movie. This movie is pure Joel and Ethan all the way.  Moses the Clock Man: And that's the story of how Norville Barnes climbed waaay up to the forty-fourth floor of the Hudsucker Buildling, and then fell all the way down but didn't quite squish hisself. You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story... 

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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