Hudsucker Proxy, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1

The year is 1958 and business is booming. Recent business college school graduate Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) believes in "hard work" and "ingenuity." So, landing a job as a mail clerk at Hudsucker Industries is merely the first rung on his way to the top. But the top isn't always what it's cracked up to be. During a board meeting, founder of Hudsucker Industries, Waring Hudsucker, abruptly jumps out the window of the 45th floor. No sooner has Hudsucker splattered on the sidewalk than board member Sidney Mussberger (Paul Newman) steps in to make sure board members maintain company control when the stock is due to go public in 30 days. They promote young Norville to president as their proxy, or puppet, to produce stock sellers panic. The promotion of the young idea man causes prices to plummet. But things take an interesting turn when Norville invents a national sensation, the hula hoop. THE HUDSUCKER PROXY is a cartoonish look at the business world and one young man's dreams. Those who have worked in the corporate world will particularly appreciate this outlandish spoof.

Its slapstick humor and creativity makes THE HUDSUCKER PROXY one of the few truly entertaining films not resorting to sexual innuendoes for laughs. The most unfortunate element of this film is a 60-second dream sequence in which a scantily clothed woman performs a humorous, yet sexually suggestive, dance routine. This scene is completely gratuitous and adds nothing to the story. The film's slapstick violence includes some face slaps and socks to the jaw. Suicide seems to be the main method of problem solving for the film's characters. Hudsucker's death dive off the 45th floor and implied splat on the sidewalk is played as humorous, but is still somewhat dark. Later in the film, Norville contemplates doing the same and then accidentally falls off the ledge, but not to his death. One of the last scenes also shows Sidney standing on the same ledge. This dark humor is unfortunate and should discourage parents from taking children to this film. At the same time, older teens and adults will enjoy many good, clean laughs.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 5; Moderate 1

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once - Regular

Violence: Several times - Moderate (face slaps, sock in jaw; implied suicide jump; implied death of man falling; man falls off 45th story but doesn't die)

Sex: None

Nudity: None (but near nudity of scantily clothed woman)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (suggestive dance scene)

Drugs: Few times (cigar smoking; social drinking twice; drunkenness once but not condoned)

Other: Suicide treated lightly

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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