1994 Certificate: pg


Offbeat comedy from the Coen Brothers starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman. In Fifties New York, a mailboy becomes caught up in corporate shenanigans.


  • Joel Coen


  • Tim Robbins

  • Paul Newman

  • John Mahoney

  • Charles Durning

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh


A doomed attempt to combine a 1984-style story with a Capra fantasy such as Meet John Doe or Mr Deeds Goes to Town.

It's 1958 and the deeds of this particular long fellow (6ft 5in Tim Robbins with his hair curled upwards) centre on the Hudsucker company, whose founder (Charles Durning, later to reappear as an angel) has just jumped from the 54th floor.

Numskull Tim is hired by vice-prez Paul Newman to be prez so that shares will plummet faster than Durning - and the board can buy them for peanuts. Alas, Tim subsequently invents the hula hoop, and shares soar... so how does he end up contemplating the same leap as Durning? Chances are that you won't care a lot, since none of this is rooted in reality.

The script just can't resist the easy gag - the Hudsucker company advertises vacancies as 'low pay, long hours' or silly bon mot: other vacancies Robbins sees advertised include goat herd and card shark. Get out on that ledge, lads: you blew it.