The Hudsucker Proxy

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 48
  2. Negative: 4 out of 48

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User Reviews

  1. PearsonM.
    Nov 17, 2007
    9
    Either you get the magic of this movie, or you don't. If you don't, I could see how it might be hard to watch, however, if you do, you'll be rewarded with wonderfully imagined story -part homage, part fantasy, part success story, and part romance.
  2. Aug 25, 2010
    10
    OK All Napoleon Dynamite fans depart... this is NOT a film for you. This film has the most unique, artistic and wonderful cinematography of any movie I have seen. For those of you who don't know the "HULA HOOP" is an actual toy that children played with beginning in the late 50's. This film is a delightful romp pretending to document the invention of the hoop. ENJOY! the brothers made aOK All Napoleon Dynamite fans depart... this is NOT a film for you. This film has the most unique, artistic and wonderful cinematography of any movie I have seen. For those of you who don't know the "HULA HOOP" is an actual toy that children played with beginning in the late 50's. This film is a delightful romp pretending to document the invention of the hoop. ENJOY! the brothers made a fine film AGAIN! Collapse
  3. Mar 16, 2011
    10
    There are a few specific reasons why God graced the earth with the Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi. This is one of them. See this movie and your life will be better for it. (Side note: There is clearly an error somewhere in Metacritic's professional critic calculation algorithm as it only has this at a 53 for some reason.) >>>> My full cinema profile here: http://bit.ly/MyMovies
  4. MattA.
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    The critics totally blew it on this one. The best performance of Tim Robbin's mediocre career, and some of the best work both Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman have done as well. A brilliant homage to classic 30's, 40's and 50's movies starring Cary Grant, James Stewart and the like. Easily one of the Coen's brothers best three movies (along with Fargo and The critics totally blew it on this one. The best performance of Tim Robbin's mediocre career, and some of the best work both Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman have done as well. A brilliant homage to classic 30's, 40's and 50's movies starring Cary Grant, James Stewart and the like. Easily one of the Coen's brothers best three movies (along with Fargo and Raising Arizona). Expand
  5. Sep 18, 2010
    10
    Simply one of the greatest movies ever made, with an outrageous and uproarious performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh. A homage to the great screwball comedies of the past, but strained through '90's irony. Great dialogue, incredible design and a wonderful score. If you're under 40, you probably won't get it, but if you just use your imagination the way the Coens used theirs, you'll loveSimply one of the greatest movies ever made, with an outrageous and uproarious performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh. A homage to the great screwball comedies of the past, but strained through '90's irony. Great dialogue, incredible design and a wonderful score. If you're under 40, you probably won't get it, but if you just use your imagination the way the Coens used theirs, you'll love "Proxy."

    And remember...The Future is Now.
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  6. KenD.
    Mar 2, 2008
    4
    The critics are right. It's a cold fish of a film, however well art directed it may be. It's as though the Coen's became so absorbed by the filmmaking process they forgot what they were doing it for. Along with The Ladykillers, it's their worst.
  7. Jun 13, 2016
    8
    The artistic medium of film is very subjective. Every audience member has a different set of criteria they use to measure their viewing experience. Not everyone shares the same set of criteria. If we did, what a bland and uninspired world this would be.

    What I Personally Liked About "The Hudsucker Proxy": I would be remiss if I were not to point out right off the bat that the dialogue
    The artistic medium of film is very subjective. Every audience member has a different set of criteria they use to measure their viewing experience. Not everyone shares the same set of criteria. If we did, what a bland and uninspired world this would be.

    What I Personally Liked About "The Hudsucker Proxy":
    I would be remiss if I were not to point out right off the bat that the dialogue in this film is superlative. The Coen Brothers have long been known for their sharp tongues and witty turning of phrases and they hit a home run with this production. The precision and the pacing they so easily pull out of the throats of their thespians is astonishing and adds vibrant depth to the already gilded screenplay. Another highlight is the attention paid to the tiniest of comedic details. For example, Waring Hudsucker cleaning one lens of his glasses on his long voyage down to the sidewalk or Norville Barnes turning a drawing of a circle around because he felt it was upside down. This film is so fully packed it feels like it's bursting at the seams with hilarity. This film also made a Jennifer Jason Leigh fan out of me. I hadn't been all that familiar with her work the first time I saw "Hudsucker"; now I cannot seem to get enough. In this motion picture, it doesn't feel like she becomes the character of Amy Archer, it feels like she allows the character to become HER. It's like she lifted the words directly off the page, opened herself up and filled her body with each and every richly nuanced component. Jim True also gives a magnificent performance as the elevator operator Buzz; so much so, in fact, that he outshines leading man Tim Robbins in many of the scenes they share.

    What I Personally Disliked About "The Hudsucker Proxy":
    A small nitpick I had when the movie was first released is the fact that the secret behind Norville's idea of the circle being a hula hoop was revealed in the promotional material. A lot of people have voiced that opinion over the years and for very good reason. Still, the secret would have gotten out eventually. I just would have preferred to go into the film blind and allow the surprise to have more impact. Another small quibble, which has nothing to do with what is actually shown on screen, is the fact that this is perhaps the most underrated of all the films the Coens have unleashed upon the cinematic community. It definitely deserves better than to be collecting dust in the backs of the minds of most cinephiles. A final criticism is that Bruce Campbell feels underutilized in the role of Smitty. Here we have a talent whose style matches the period of this film perfectly and who seems like he was tailor made to work for the Coen Brothers. Yet they almost downplay his role in the newsroom and don't let him liberate the full force of his jocular prowess.

    My Overall Impression of "The Hudsucker Proxy":
    The spirited momentum behind this movie never lets up and never feels like it is being spread too thin. The Coens show they have grown more comfortable with their writing and directing skills. The cast is splendid all the way from the top of the board room (Paul Newman) to the bottom of the beatnik juice and coffee bar (Steve Buscemi); even the sets are unerringly designed. Everything gels together like silky cream being poured over smooth caramel. When people used to say "They don't make 'em like they used to," they obviously didn't have the opportunity to see this one!
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Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. 88
    With its refined wit and glorious vision, The Hudsucker Proxy is certainly deserving of a wide audience.
  2. Stylish and witty though it is, The Hudsucker Proxy has its problems, even for Coen fans. But throughout, there are wonderfully rich touches.
  3. 50
    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.