Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Hudsucker Proxy Movie Trivia

The Hudsucker Proxy


It's not everyday that you get to be promoted by Paul Newman as the head of a company.

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10.  Jennifer Jason Leigh won the role of Amy Archer over Ellen Barkin, Nicole Kidman, Winona Ryder, and Bridget Fonda.

9.  The line "if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass a-hoppin'", and the name Hudsucker itself, we're also used in the Coens' own Raising Arizona (1987).

8.  Dr. Hugo Bronfenbrenner, the psychiatrist who evaluated Norville for the board, was likely named after famous developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner.

7.  Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of Sidney J. Mussburger.

6.  The movie reunites Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Peter Gallagher who all previously appeared in Short Cuts (1993).

5.  As of 2016, this is the only PG-rated movie directed by the Coen Brothers. All of their other films have carried either R or PG-13 ratings.

4.  Sam Raimi: in the Hula Hoop manufacturing sequence as one of the Hudsucker brainstormers. We don't see his face, only his silhouette and we hear his voice.

3.  Both products made by Norville Barnes (the Hula-Hoop and the Frisbee) are products of the Wham-O company.

2.  The deus ex machina towards the end of the movie is actually a god in a machine.

1.  Clint Eastwood was offered the role of Sidney Mussburger.
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EXTRAS


The death of Waring Hudsucker was inspired by a real-life incident. On February 3, 1975, Eli Black, the CEO of the United Fruit Company, smashed an office window with his briefcase and jumped to his death from the 44th floor of the Pan Am Building in New York City.

The published script is introduced with a fake interview with "producer" Joel Silver (who is uncredited in the film). In this interview Silver claims that the Coens were difficult to work with and among other things wanted Ethan to play Tim Robbins's part and Jeanne Moreau to play Jennifer Jason Leigh's (despite of the age difference of 30+ years).

The main theme music of the film is the uncredited Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from the ballet Spartacus by Aram Khachaturyan. This music was also used as the main theme for BBC TV's series The Onedin Line (1971). The music played behind the black and white newsreel is Non-Stop by John Malcolm, used by Independent Television News in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s to introduce their main news bulletins. Malcolm apparently composed the piece to blow a raspberry at the musical prejudices of his tutor.

The secretary of the Hudsucker brainstormers (uncredited Mary Beth Peil) is reading throughout the Hula Hoop manufacturing sequence the novels "War & Peace" and "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy. The idea is to show that the brainstormers are really taking their time to determine the name of the product since the novels have, respectively, 1225 and 864 pages and are commonly known for being books you would spend a lot of time reading. In her case, if you'd consider 4 minutes per page, 8 hours a day, both books would've taken 18 days to read.

The familiar, quick-tempo song heard when the children are making a mad dash to the toy store to buy the Hula-Hoops is called "Sabre Dance". It was written by Aram Khachaturyan and is featured in his ballet, "Gayane". The song is often associated with juggling acts and such.

This is one of the few Coen brothers movies to not be edited by the brothers themselves (under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes) along with Tricia Cooke. Thom Noble was the editor here.
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