The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) - full transcript
When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries.
Anyway, for a few more minutes it is.
Come midnight, it's gonna be 1959.
A whole other feeling. The new year.
Yeah, Old Daddy Earth fixing to start one more trip around the sun.
Everybody hoping this ride round be a little more giddy...
...a little more gay.
Yup, all over town, champagne corks is a-popping.
Over in the Waldorf, the big shots is dancing to the strains of Guy Lombardo.
In Times Square, the little folks is watching
and waiting for that big ball to drop.
They're all trying to catch hold of one moment of time...
...to be able to say, "Right now! This is it! I got it!"
Of course, by then it'll be past.
But they're all happy, everybody having a good time.
Well, almost everybody.
There's a few lost souls floating around out there.
Now, if you all ain't from the city...
...we got something here called "the rat race."
Got a way of chewing folks up so that they don't want no celebrating...
...don't want no cheering up.
Don't care nothing about no New Year's.
Out of hope, out of rope, out of time.
This here is Norville Barnes.
That office he's stepping out of...
...is the oddice of the president of Hudsucker Industries.
That's his office.
How'd he get so high?
And why's he feeling so low?
Is he really going to do it?
Is Norville really gonna jelly up the sidewalk?
Well, the future, that's something you can never tell about.
But the past, heh-heh...
...that's another story.
In the third quarter we saw no signs of weakening.
We're up 18 percent over last year's third-quarter gross...
...and that, needless to say, is a new record.
Our competition continues to flag and we continue to take up the slack.
Market shares in most divisions is increasing...
...and we have opened seven new regional offices.
Our international division...
...is also showing vigorous signs of upward movement for the last six months...
...and we're looking at some exciting things in R&D.
Sub-franchising. Don't talk to me about sub-franchising.
We're making so much money in sub-franchising...
...it isn't even funny.
Our nominees and assigns continue to multiply and expand...
...extending our influence nationally and abroad.
Our owned and operateds are performing...
...far beyond our expectations both here and abroad.
And the Federal Tax Act of 1958...
...is giving us a swell write-off on our plant and heavies.
And our last debenture issue was this year's fastest seller.
So third quarter and year-to-date...
...we have set a new record in sales, a new record in gross...
...a new record in pre-tax earnings...
...a new record in after-tax profits...
...and our stock has split twice in the past year.
It's a pity to waste a whole Montecristo.
He could've opened the window.
Waring Hudsucker never did anything the easy way.
Why? Why did he do it? Everything was going so well.
What, am I a headshrinker? Maybe the man was unhappy.
He didn't look unhappy.
- He didn't look rich. - He was never an easy man to figure out.
He built this company with his bare hands.
Every step he took was a step up...
...except, of course, this last one.
Sure, sure he was a swell fella...
...but when the president, chairman of the board...
...and owner of 87 percent of the company stock drops...
...44 floors... - Forty-five.
Counting the mezzanine.
Then the company, too, has a problem. Stillson!
What exactly is the disposition of Waring's stock?
Well, as you know...
...Hud left no will and no family.
The company bylaws are quite clear in that event.
"His entire portfolio will be converted into common stock..."
...and will be sold over the counter as of the first of the fiscal year...
...following his demise." - Meaning?
Meaning simply that Waring's stock and control of the company...
...will be made available to the public January 1st.
Do you mean to say...
...that any slob in a smelly T-shirt will be able to buy Hudsucker stock?
The company bylaws are quite clear.
My God! You're animals!
How can you discuss his stock when the man has just leapt 45 floors?
- Forty four. - Not counting the mezzanine.
Quit showboating, Addison. The man is gone.
The question now is whether we'll let John Q. Public waltz in here...
...and buy our company. - What are you suggesting, Sydney?
Certainly we can't afford to buy a controlling interest.
Not while the stock is this strong.
How soon before Hud's paper hits the market?
- January 1st. - Thirty days.
- Four weeks. - A month at the most.
One month to make the blue-chip investment of the century...
...look like a round-trip ticket on the Titanic.
We play up the fact that Hud is dead.
Long live the Hud!
- We depress the stock. - To the point where we can buy 50 percent.
- Fifty one. - Not counting the mezzanine.
- It could work. - It should work.
- It would work. - It's working already.
Waring Hudsucker is abstract art on Madison Avenue.
What we need now is a new president who will inspire panic in the stockholder.
- A puppet. - A proxy.
Sure, sure, some jerk...
...we can really push around.
You punch in at 8:30 every morning, at 7:30 following a business holiday...
...unless it's a Monday, then you punch in 8:00.
- Punch in late and they dock you. - This goes to seven! Urgent.
Incoming articles get a voucher. Outgoing articles provide a voucher.
Move any article without a voucher and they dock you!
Take this up to the secretarial pool on three! ASAP!
Letter-size, a green voucher! Folder-size, a yellow voucher!
- Parcel-size, a maroon voucher! - This is for Morgatross! Chop-chop!
Wrong color voucher and they dock you!
That is your employee number! It will not be repeated!
Without your employee number you cannot get your paycheck.
All right, this goes up to 27!
Return a waiver! Do not return without a signed waiver!
Inter-office mail is code 37! Intra-office mail is 37-3.
Outside mail is 3-37.
Code it wrong and they dock you!
I was supposed to have this on 2810 minutes ago!
This has been your orientation.
Is there anything you do not understand or understand partially?
If you have not been fully orientated, you must file a complaint with Personnel!
File a faulty complaint and they dock you!
Kloppitt. Kloppitt, Kloppitt...
"Max Kloppitt, Jr."
What do you do when the envelope is too big for the slot?
Well, if you fold them, they fire you.
I usually throw them out.
- Just got hired today. - Mm-hm.
- Terrific. NORVILLE: You know, entry level.
Tell me about it.
But I got big ideas.
I'm sure you do.
For instance, take a look at this sweet baby.
I developed it myself.
Yes, sirree, this is my ticket upstairs.
You know, for kids.
So you see, I won't be working in the mail room long.
No, I don't guess you will be.
- How long you been here? - Forty-eight years.
Next year they move me up to parcels if I'm lucky.
Attention Hudsucker employees!
Attention Hudsucker employees!
We regretfully announce that at 30 seconds after the hour of noon...
...Waring Hudsucker, founder, president...
...and chairman of the board of Hudsucker Industries...
...merged with the infinite.
To mark this occasion of corporate loss...
...we ask that all employees observe a moment of silent contemplation.
Thank you for your kind attention.
This moment has been duly noted on your timecards...
...and will be deducted from your pay. That is all.
- Blue letter! - Blue letter!
They're bringing down a blue letter!
It's a blue letter.
Top, top level.
Confidential communication between the brass.
Usually bad news.
They hate blue letters upstairs.
- Hate them. - You!
Yeah, you! Barnes! You don't look busy!
Think you can handle a blue letter?
This letter was sent this morning by the big man himself...
...that's right, Waring Hudsucker!
It's addressed to Sid Mussburger, Hudsucker's right-hand man!
It's a blue letter!
That means you got to put it right in Mussburger's hands.
No secretaries! No receptionists!
No colleagues! No excuses!
Hi, my name's Buzz, I got the fuzz, I make the elevator do what she does.
Hang it up to dry. What's your pleasure, buddy?
- Forty-four. - Forty-four, the top-brass floor.
Say, buddy, what takes 50 years to get to the top floor...
...and 30 seconds to get down?
Waring Hudsucker! You get it, buddy?
Say, buddy! Mr. Kline, up to nine. Mrs. Dell, Personnel.
- Mr. Levin, 37. - Thirty-six.
Walk down! Ladies and gentlemen, please step to the rear.
- Here comes the gargantuan Mr. Grier. - Buzz.
Say, buddy, who's the most liquid businessman on the street?
Waring Hudsucker. Say, buddy.
When is the sidewalk fully dressed? When it's wearing Hudsucker! Ha-ha-ha.
You get it, buddy? It's a pun, it's a knee-slapper...
...it's a play on... Jesus, Joseph and Mary, is that a blue letter?
Why didn't you tell a guy? Hold on, folks, we're express to the top floor!
Good luck, buddy.
You're gonna need it. Ha-ha-ha.
Mr. Mussburger's office?
- Do you have an appointment? - No.
- Shall we look in the book? Hmm? - Ma'am, we shall...
- We don't seem to be in the book. - I wouldn't be.
If we had an appointment, we'd be in the book.
I have this, uh...
Oh, here it is. Heh.
No, too risky. He's green but he's not slow.
Who is he?
No, I want an imbecile, not a cipher or you'd have the job.
They moved him to grommets and O-rings.
He's doing pretty well.
No, no, not, McClanahan.
He bungled the Teleyard merger, thinks he's got something to prove.
Who let you in?
Atwater? Tremendous. Except I just fired him last week.
...Mr. Bumstead's waiting downstairs.
- I'll be right there. WOMAN: Yes, Mr. Mussburger.
Spit it out!
- I, uh... - Yeah?
Well, maybe you're the company's biggest moron.
We can't use Morris. Been here too long. He's a nice guy with too many friends.
In fact, why don't you fire him? Scratch that, I'll fire him.
Make it fast, huh, fast!
Mr. Bumstead is growing restless.
Tell him I'll be right there. Give him a magazine.
What, are you a mute?
How's the stock doing? Bad?
Well, it's not bad enough. Listen, chump.
Either you find me a ding-dong or tender your key to the executive washroom.
That goes double for you, pal. Ear-clay? Ood-gay!
This better be good. I'm in a bad mood.
Sir, I've got something for you from the mail room, but first...
...if I could take a minute of your very valuable time to show you something...
...I've been working on for the past two or three years.
You know, for kids.
It's perfect for Hudsucker, not that I'm any great genius.
They say inspiration is 99 percent perspiration...
...in my case it's at least twice that...
...but I've got to tell you, this sweet... - Wait a minute!
Sit down, son.
Try it on.
Put your feet up.
Let's get to know one another, shall we?
Now then, you're from the basement, aren't you?
And weren't blessed with much...
Well, I am a college graduate.
But you did not excel in your studies.
- Well, I... I made Dean's List. - Oh.
At the Muncie College of Business Administration.
And your friends, they called you "jerk," didn't they?
- "Dope?" "Dipstick?" - Mm-mm. No.
"Lamebrain?" "Schmo?" Not even behind your back?
Well, as a matter they voted me "Most Likely to Succeed."
Get your feet off my desk, get out of my office.
Leave your apron in the locker room.
Oh, my God!
The Bumstead contract. I've been working on that deal for four years!
Get out of here! I'll take care of it! Get out.
You could have destroyed the most sensitive document of my career.
Mr. Bumstead is threatening to leave the building.
I'm on my way down.
We need the first page of the contract retyped.
Yes, Mr. Mussburger.
Yeah? Uh-huh. Yeah.
Out! Out of the office!
Down three points, huh?
That's encouraging. How about New York?
Not that way, through the door!
Sir, it'll take three hours to retype the Bumstead contract...
Where are you going? Get out of here! Stop that!
Mr. Bumstead's threatening to leave.
Not the whole contract, just the first page.
I'll be there. Give him another magazine.
- He says he'll leave. - I said I'll be there!
And you're wife's been trying to reach you.
Up on your feet! We don't crawl here at Hudsucker Industries!
- My leg is on fire! - No assumptions!
It's early yet. Just let me know where we stand at the closing bell.
Oh, my God, the Bumstead contract!
No magazines! No coffee!
Mussburger! I wanna see Mussburger! Or did he jump out a window too?
Don't worry, Mr. Mussburger, I got you! I got you by your pants.
Mr. Mussburger, I'm gonna give your pants a nice double stitch.
It'll make them real strong and you're gonna look real sharp.
- No, single stitch is fine. - But the double stitch, she lasts forever.
Why on earth would I want a double stitch?
To pad your account.
Single stitch is fine.
Oh, what the heck! Mr. Mussburger is such a nice man...
...I'm gonna give him a double stitch anyway. Heh-heh-heh.
Ah. That's some strong stitch, you bet!
"The Einstein of Enterprise."
"The Edison of Industry."
"The Billion-Dollar Cranium!"
And not one of you has given me a story on him!
Bunch of lamebrains!
Facts, figures, charts. They never sold a newspaper!
I read this morning's Argus, let me tell you something.
I'd wrap a fish in it! I'd use it as kindling!
I'd train my poodle on it if he wasn't a French poodle...
...and partial to pages of Paris-Soir.
But I wouldn't shell out a hard-earned nickel to read the thing!
Come on, chief, give us a break.
Sure, Tibbs. Take a break.
Go to Florida. Lie in the sun.
Wait for a coconut to drop. File a story on it.
It'd be more of a grabber than your piece on the county grain surplus!
The human angle! That's what sells papers!
We need a front page with a heart and the Idea Man can put it there!
Look, chief, if we had more access...
If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it's ass a-hopping.
I don't want excuses, I want results!
What makes the Idea Man tick? Where's he from?
I want to know everything about him! Has he got a girl? Has he got parents?
Everybody has parents.
All right, how many?
How about it, Parkinson? You've been awful quiet over there.
- Uh... - Still waters run deep.
Only thing deep with Parkinson are the holes in his ears.
Yes, Idea Man.
What are his hopes and dreams, his desires and aspirations?
Does he think all the time or a certain portion of the day?
How tall is he? Shoe size? Where does he sleep?
What does he have for breakfast?
Does he put jam on his toast or doesn't he?
If not, why not and since when?
Ah. You're useless.
Yes. Idea Man. "Creator."
- Fake! - Huh?
I tell you, the guy's a phony.
- Phony, huh? - As a three-dollar bill.
- Says who? - Says me, Amy Archer!
Why is he an Idea Man? Because Hudsucker says he is?
What are his ideas? Why can't anyone interview him?
Five bucks says she mentions her Pulitzer.
Again? You're on.
Just take a look at the mug on this guy.
The jutting eyebrows, the simian forehead, the idiotic grin.
He has a face only a mother could love on payday.
The only story here is how this guy made a monkey out of you, Al.
Yeah, monkey or not, I'm still editor of this rag.
You were doing the piece on the FBI. "Hoover: When Will He Marry?"
- I filed it yesterday. Nice tie, Earl. - Well, do a follow-up.
"Hoover: Crime Buster or Pantywaist?"
The rest of you mugs get off your brains and get me that Idea Man story!
Al, he's the bunk.
- I'll stake my Pulitzer on it! - Hmm.
Say, buddy, where'd you get the new duds?
Say, buddy, how did old bucket butt like his blue letter? Heh.
Did he bust a gut? Did he die? Well, hello, Mr. Mussburger.
- Lobby, we haven't got all day. - Right away, Mr. Mussburger.
How are you this fine morning, sir?
It's been a pleasure serving you today, sir.
It's been a pleasure serving you too, uh, buddy.
Uh, Sid, shouldn't we be a little concerned...
...with the downward spiral of our stock these past few days?
You're the expert, but at the Muncie College...
Relax, it's only natural...
...in a period of transition for the more timid element to run for cover.
Like I said, you're the expert...
...but do you remember the plan I outlined for you...
...the day I set fire to your office? The day I was promoted?
I do remember and I was impressed. But that's all forgotten now.
Oh. Thank you, Sid.
The reason I mention it is it requires such a small capital investment...
Again, you are the expert here.
- But there's such an enormous potential profit...
...given the discretionary income of the burgeoning middle-class.
So if you agree, I'd like to bounce the idea off a few people at lunch.
Tell whoever you want. I'd like to hear about it at some point too.
- I got gas, Benny. - Yeah. Tell me about it.
No kidding, Benny. I got gas.
- You get the special? - Far from it.
Enter the dame.
There's one in every story.
Ten bucks says she's looking for a handout.
Twenty bucks says not here, she don't find one.
- She's looking for her mark. - She finds him.
She sits down and orders a light lunch.
How will she pay for this lunch?
- She looks through her purse. - No money.
The mark notices.
- He's not noticing, Benny. - Maybe he's wise.
He don't look wise.
Here come the waterworks.
- Yellowstone. - Old Faithful.
- He notices. - She's distressed.
She explains her predicament.
And enter the light lunch.
- She's got other problems. - There's illness in the family.
- Her mother needs an operation. - Urgently.
Adenoids. LOU: No, Benny.
That gag's got whiskers on it.
Uh-oh. He ain't biting, Benny.
- She's losing him, Lou. - Maybe he's wise.
He don't look wise.
- How does she pull this out? - He's getting away.
- She better think fast. - She isn't.
She's good, Benny.
She's damn good, Lou.
Can I get you boys anything else?
I'm sorry we had to take the stairs. It was just that horrible elevator boy.
I can't say how much I appreciate your listening to my story.
I'm lucky to find someone in this bustling city with a stout heart and a ready ear.
At any rate, there I was traveling this great country.
Some I met were kind to me, others exceedingly cruel.
Traveling by motor bus, rail, even by thumb.
The couch, please.
Hoarding every dollar, counting every nickel, pinching every penny.
It's been a long road leading to the coddee shop downstairs.
Not that I'd trade a day, an hour, a moment of it for anything.
I don't know what came over me.
It was the shock of eating after so long...
...without the enzymes kicking in after so long...
Then you couldn't possibly know what it is to be tired and hungry.
- Hungry, anyway. - I don't wanna bore you...
...with all details of my life. Not a happy story.
I'm jobless but not for want of trying.
I'm friendless, with no one to take care of me and had you not come along...
- ...exactly when you did... - I, myself...
At any rate, I arrived in town not 10 days ago...
...full of dreams and aspirations, anxious to make my way in the world...
...a little naive perhaps...
...but armed with determination, work ethic...
...and a belief in the future...
- I, myself... AMY: Only to have that belief...
...that unsullied optimism, dashed against the marble of the workplace.
Such is life. Seek and you shall find. Work and you shall prosper.
- Cigarette? - No, thank you.
Seek and you shall find, work and you shall prosper.
These were the watchwords of my education...
...the values instilled in me...
...while I was growing up in a little town you've never heard of.
- Mind if I join you? - Be my guest.
A little town you've probably never heard of...
...a dusty crossroads of which you've probably never heard.
Excuse me. Executive washroom.
Are you all right?
Is it your lunch? The chicken à la king?
- Is the à la king repeating on you? - No, I'm fine. You were saying?
Values, watchwords, tender years.
A town you've probably never heard of.
- You're from Muncie? - Why, yes. Do you know it?
Fight on Dear old Muncie
Hoist the gold and blue
You'll be tattered Torn and hurting
Once the Muncie's done with
- Go, Eagles! - Go, Eagles!
A Muncie girl!
- What do you know about that? - Hmm.
I'll tell you what, Amy.
I'm gonna cancel the rest of my appointments...
...and get you a job here at Hud.
Oh, no! Really...
Don't bother to thank me. It's easy. I know where a vacancy just came up.
- Mailroom. This will only take a moment. - Yeah.
Good afternoon, this is Norville Barnes.
Barnes! Where the hell have you been?
- Where's my voucher? - Um...
- I'm not sure. - I need that voucher!
I told you a week ago it was important!
Ahem, I'm president of the company now.
I don't care if you're president of the company!
I need the voucher now!
Look, why don't you work in here with me?
Are you familiar with the mimeograph machine?
Well, of course. I went to the Muncie Secretarial, uh, Polytechnic.
A Muncie girl! Can you beat that?
I just don't know how to thank you, Mr. Barnes.
- Go, Eagles! Heh. - Go, Eagles!
"Once the Munce..." Holy moly!
Is this guy from Chumpsville? I even pulled the old mother routine.
- Adenoids? - Lumbago.
Phew. That gag's got whiskers on it.
I tell you, the Hudsucker board's up to something.
What's a six-letter word for an affliction of the hypothalamus?
And it's a cinch... Goiter. - This guy isn't in on it.
- She's right here. - How much time to make the late final?
- Chief. - Tsk. Hiya, chief.
Just the person I wanted to apologize to.
- About seven minutes. - Yeah, I was all wet about your Idea Man.
Well, thanks for being so generous. It is human and you are divine.
No, he's no faker.
He's 100 percent real McCoy, beware of imitations, genuine article.
The guy's a real moron, as in a five-letter word for imbecile.
Oh, as pure a specimen as I've ever run across. Okay.
If working at the Argus doesn't make me an expert...
...then my name isn't Amy Archer and I never won the Pulitzer Prize.
My, oh, my series on the reunited triplets.
Well, come down here, hammerhead, and I'll show it to you!
What's a three-letter word for a flightless bird?
Not now, I'm busy.
Right, I said, "hammerhead," as in a 10-letter word for a smug...
...bullying newspaper man.
Gnu. Who couldn't find... That's G-N-U.
Couldn't find the Empire State Building with a compass, map and a guide.
Or is it Emu? That's just potatoes. Here comes the gravy.
The chump really likes me.
- Ah. A Muncie girl! - Better off falling for a rattlesnake.
This guy's just a patsy and I'm gonna find out what for.
There's a real story here, some kind of plot.
A set-up. Oh, and say, did I tell you?
- He didn't odder you money? - A sawbuck!
Ten smackers! Let's grab a highball!
- On Norville Barnes. - Yeah.
Ms. Smith, would you come in and take a letter?
Of all the cockamamy...
Did you see the front page of today's Manhattan Argus?
Well, I, uh, didn't bother to read the article. I didn't think the picture did you justice.
Well, the picture's fine.
It's what that knuckle-headed dame wrote underneath.
Of all the irresponsible... Take this down.
Dear, Ms. Archer.
I call you "Miss" because you seem to have missed the boat completely.
How would you know if I'm an imbecile?
You didn't have the guts to come interview me man-to-man!
Change "man-to-man" to "face-to-face."
Change "face-to-face" to "eye-to-eye" and "guts" to "common decency."
These wild speculations about my intelligence...
...these preposterous inventions would be suited...
...to the pages of Amazing Tales Magazine.
If the editors of the Manhattan Argus see fit...
...to publish the rantings of a disordered mind...
...perhaps they will see fit to publish this letter.
But I most seriously doubt it.
As I doubt also that you could find a home at Amazing Tales...
...a periodical which I have enjoyed for many years.
Sincerely, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Is that all, Mr. Barnes?
You know me, Amy, better than this dame. Do you think I'm an imbecile?
Oh, well, I'm sure I...
Tell the truth. I trust you. I place a lot of stock in your opinion.
- Well... - Oh, sure, heh, you're biased.
You're a fellow Muncian, heh.
But let me ask you a question: Would an imbecile come up with this?
I designed it myself.
This sweet baby will put Hudsucker right back on top.
You know, for kids.
Why don't I just type this up?
Oh, no, Amy, that won't be necessary. I shouldn't send it.
She's just doing her job, I guess.
I don't know, maybe she does deserve it.
Maybe she should have come in here and faced you man-to-man.
She had a deadline.
Sure, but she still could've gotten your side, for the record.
Well, it's done now. What's the use of grousing about it? Ha, ha.
Forget the letter, Amy, I just had to blow off some steam. Heh.
She's probably just a little confused.
- Confused? - She's probably a fast-talking career gal...
...thinks she's one of the boys. If you know what I mean, heh.
Oh, I'm quite sure I don't know what you mean.
Suffers from one of these complexes they have nowadays.
Seems pretty obvious.
She's probably very unattractive and bitter about it.
- Oh, is that it? - Yeah.
She probably dresses in men's clothing...
...drinks with the guys at the watering hole...
...hobnobs with some smooth-talking heel named Bidd...
...or Smoocher or, uh... - Smitty.
Exactly. I bet she's ugly, real ugly.
Otherwise, why isn't her picture next to her byline?
Oh, maybe she puts her work ahead of her personal appearance.
I bet that's exactly what she tells herself.
But you and I both know she's a dried-up, bitter old maid.
Amy, how about we grab a little dinner and a show after work?
I was thinking maybe The King and I.
Uh, how about Oklahoma!?
Norville, you don't know a thing about that woman!
You don't know who she really is.
And only a numbskull thinks he knows things...
...about things he knows nothing, uh, about.
Say, what gives?
The inventory of the Jacksonville...
...facility should be reduced by 15 percent.
Memo from the desk of Sidney J. Mussburger...
What are you doing down there, Ms. Archer?
Who are you? How did you know who I am?
I suspect Old Moses knows just about everything...
...leastways if it concerns Hudsucker.
But who are you? What do you do here?
I keep the old circle turning. This old clock needs plenty of care.
Time is money, Ms. Archer.
And money drives that old global economy...
...and keeps Big Daddy Earth spinning around.
- See, without that capital formation... - Yeah, yeah.
Say, you won't tell anyone about me, will you?
I don't tell no one nothing unless they ask.
That just ain't Old Moses' way.
So if you know everything about Hudsucker...
...tell me why the board decided to make Norville Barnes president?
Well, that even surprised Old Moses at first.
- I didn't think the board was that smart. - "That smart"?
But then I figured it out.
They did it because they figured young Norville for an imbecile...
...like some other people I know.
Now, why on earth would the board want a nitwit to be president?
Because they're little piglets. They're trying to inspire panic...
...make that stock cheap so they can snatch it all up for themselves.
But Norville, he's got some tricks up his sleeve. He does.
You know, for kids.
- Hee-hee. - Uh-huh.
Yeah, he's a smart one, that Norville.
But I guess you don't really know him any better than that board does...
...do you, Ms. Archer?
- Well, maybe I... - And only some kind of knuckle-head...
...thinks she knows things about things she, uh...
When she don't, uh...
- How'd that go? - Well, it's hardly the same.
Why, you don't even know your own self.
You ain't exactly the genuine article, are you, Ms. Archer?
Yes, well, in connection with my job...
...sometimes I have to, uh, go undercover, as it were.
I don't mean that.
Why are you pretending to be such a hard old sourpuss?
Ain't gonna never make you happy.
I'm happy enough.
Okay, Ms. Archer.
I got gears to see to.
I'm plenty happy!
- I can't print that! - Why not? It's all true.
The board's using him to depress the stock to buy it cheap.
It's pure speculation! They'd have my butt in a satchel!
- Ah. Old satchel butt. AMY: I know they're gonna buy that stock.
You don't. They haven't bought it.
The stock's cheap! What are they waiting for?
- I don't know. - Amy's hunches are usually pretty good.
You don't accuse somebody of stock manipulation on a hunch.
The readers aren't interested in sensationalism...
...gossip, unsupported speculation! Facts! Figures! Charts!
Those are the tools of the newspaper trade.
It's as if you're trying to take the heat off this Barnes numbskull.
Oh, come on, chief. That's a low blow.
Archer's not going to go gooey for a corn-fed idiot.
I was out of line. But you're out of line with this stock-swindle story.
Give me more of that "moron from Sheboygan" studd.
- Muncie. - Whatever.
That's what sells newspapers!
I've got a harder story, "The Sap From The City Desk!"
- Watch it! - It's about a dim-witted editor who...
Easy, tough guy. Heh-heh-heh.
Does this suit look mannish to you?
Yeah, sure. Let's grab a highball.
Eh. What gives?
A man of great managerial potency.
My husband is also a president.
Sears Braithwaite of Bullard. Do you know him?
Your companion is an ode!
A lyric! Are you betrothed?
Amy works in my office. She runs, uh...
- Oh, the folly of youth. - Those green remembered hills.
That bourn from which no traveler returns.
I once ran the mimeograph for Sidney.
Though engaged at the time to quelqu'un d'autre...
...my water-cooler romance became a mad passion.
Uh. An amour fou. A folie à deux.
I'm brushing up on my French with the most charming man...
...Pierre of 5th Avenue. - Oh!
- Do you know him? - Do you know him?
Sidney and I are planning a trip to Paris and points continental.
- Oh. - Aren't we, dear?
For sure. I would like to borrow Norville for a while, if you don't mind, dear.
Oh, well, uh, frankly, I...
You have a very charming wife, Mr... Sid.
So they tell me.
Norville, let me shepherd you through some of the introductions here.
Try not to talk too much.
Some of our biggest stockholders are...
Scratch that. Say whatever you like.
Shake hands here with Sears Braithwaite of Bullard.
- Sir. - Glad to know you, Barnes.
And this is Zebulon Cardozo...
...one of Hudsucker's largest and most loyal stockholders.
What's this I hear about you being an imbecile?
What's ailing you, boy?
Last week, my stock was worth twice what it is now.
I'm getting out of the whole kit and caboodle of it, boy...
...unless I see a vast improvement.
What you've got here, son, is a range war!
You're gonna have to circle our wagons or I'm gonna get out of your wagon train.
No need for concern, sir.
It's only natural in a period of transition...
...for the more timid elements to run.
Yellow? I'll show you yellow, boy!
Zebulon, you mind now and quit acting like such an old grizzly.
Step lively here, Norville.
I'm sorry, Sid, uh, I thought maybe if I showed him the long view...
And this is Thorstenson Finlandson...
...who heads a radical splinter group of disgruntled investors.
Ah. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Finlandson.
It might interest you to know I studied Finnish in high school.
Let see, I hope I'm not too rusty. Um...
Ladies and gentlemen...
...distinguished members of the Hudsucker board...
...I give you the Rajah of Romance, the Ministereo of Moonlight...
...the incredible, the unforgettable...
...Mr. Vic Tenetta!
Rajah, I like that.
Take one fresh and tender kiss
Add one stolen night of bliss
One girl one boy Some grief some joy
Memories are made of this
Oh, nothing. Just the more timid investors are no longer running for cover.
- Let me look. - Sid found me the ice pack.
Well, let me hold it or you'll have a real shiner.
I guess people are pretty hot over this imbecile story.
Oh, it's not your fault, Amy.
You're the one person standing by me through this.
Norville, there's something I have to tell you.
You see, I'm not really a secretary.
- I know that, Amy. - You do?
I understand you're not very skilled yet in the secretarial arts...
...but I'll tell you a secret, I'm not that skilled as president.
- I know I put up a big front, but, uh... - I believe in you, Norville.
At least, I believe in your intentions.
Oh, I don't blame them, really. I suppose I have made a mess of things.
Those folks have to protect their investment.
Most of them are very nice people.
Listen, Norville, you can't trust people here like you did in Muncie.
Certain people are...
See, did you ever go to the top of Larson's feed tower and look out over the town?
- What? - On Farm Route 17?
Oh, yes, in Muncie.
- No, Vidalia. Farm Route 17. - Oh, yes, 17, yes.
I... Well, no, no. I never really.
The guys from the Varsity Squad would bring their dates up there to...
Of course, I never made Varsity.
There's a place I go now.
Cutest little place near my apartment in Greenwich Village.
It's called Ann's 440. It's a beatnik bar.
- You don't say? - Yes.
- A beatnik bar. - You can get carrot juice...
...or Italian coddee and the people there, well, none of them quite fit in.
You'd love it.
Why don't you come there with me?
There's a marathon poetry-reading on New Year's Eve. I go every year.
- It's marvelous. - Every year?
Well, this year, if it's good, I plan to make it a tradition, heh.
I, uh, heh...
My, it certainly is beautiful. The people look like ants.
Well, the Hindus say, and the beatniks also...
...that in our next lives some of us will come back as ants.
Some will be butterflies, others will be elephants...
...or creatures of the sea.
What a beautiful thought.
Hey, what do you think you were in a previous life, Amy?
Oh, I don't know. Maybe I was just, uh...
...a fast-talking career gal who thought she was one of the boys.
Oh, no, Amy.
Pardon me for saying so, but I find that very far-fetched.
- No, I have to tell you... - That person would come back...
...as a wildebeest or a warthog.
No, I find it more likely that you were a gazelle...
...with long, graceful legs, gamboling through the underbrush.
Perhaps we met once.
A chance encounter in a forest glade.
I must have been an antelope or an ibex.
The times we must've had foraging together for sustenance...
...snorfling water from a mountain stream...
...picking the grubs and burrs from one another's coats.
Or perhaps we simply touched horns briefly and went our separate ways.
Oh, I wish it were that simple, Norville.
I wish I was still a gazelle and you were an antelope...
...or an ibex.
...can I at least call you "deer?"
Seriously, Amy, it's what your beatnik friends call "karma."
- Karma. - The great circle of life, death and rebirth.
Yes, I think I heard of that. What goes around, comes around.
That's it. A great wheel that gives us all what we deserve.
I gotta show Sid and all the guys I deserve their confidence.
Tomorrow's my big presentation to the board.
Kiss me, Amy! Kiss me once for luck.
Sure, Norville, sure.
You know, for kids!
It has economy, simplicity, low production cost...
...potential for mass appeal.
All that spells out great profitability.
I had the boys down at R&D throw together this prototype...
...so our discussion could have some focus...
...and to give you gentleman a firsthand look at how exciting this gizmo is.
It's fun, healthy, good exercise, and the kids will just love it.
We put a little sand inside to make the experience more pleasant.
But the great part is we don't have to charge an arm and a leg.
What if you tire before it's done?
Does it have rules?
- Can more than one play? - It's a game?
- Is it a game? - Will it break?
- It better break eventually. - Is there an object?
- What if you tire before it's done? - Does it have batteries?
- Could we charge extra for them? - Is it safe for toddlers?
How do you know you're finished?
How does it stop?
Is that a boy's model? MAN 9: Can a parent assemble it?
What if you tire before it's done? MAN 7: Is there a larger model for the obese?
What the hell is it?
Well, it's a... It's a...
It's exactly what Hudsucker Industry needs at this juncture.
Even a blind man can tell you there'll be an enormous demand for this, uh...
You've outdone yourself. You've reinvented the wheel.
I'll recommend to the board that we proceed immediately and that the, uh...
And that the, uh...
...dingus be mass-produced with all deliberate speed.
Although, you realize...
...the ultimate decision is yours.
Oh. I'm for it.
We'll call it the Flying Doughnut!
The Dancing Dingus!
- The Wacky Circumference! - Uncle Midriff!
- We need something short! - Sharp!
Snappy! MAN 2: With a little jazz!
- The Hoopsucker. - The Hudswinger.
- The Hoopsucker! - The Hudswinger!
Fellas! MAN 2: You got something?
You got something?
Fella, I got something!
Rockwell News presents, Tidbits of Time.
World news in pictures, we kid you not.
As Old Man 1958 hobbles towards his finish...
...Barnes is the name on every American lip.
Norville Barnes, young president of Hudsucker Industries...
...a boy bred in the heartland, but now the toast of New York.
Barnes is the brainy inventor of America's craziest craze:
Reaping huge profits for his company and winning the hearts...
...and hips of every youngster in America!
Woo-ho. Did I say youngster?
Here's Mom taking a break from her household chores...
...and even Dad is swinging into the act!
Cards, letters, congratulations...
...come pouring in from Kankakee to Petaluma...
...including one very special long-distance call.
He's on! He's on the line!
- Hello? EISENHOWER: Hello, Norville.
- This is the President. - Oh, my God, sir.
I just wanted to congratulate you. I'm very proud of you.
- Oh, my God, sir. - Mrs. Eisenhower is very proud of you.
The American people are very proud of you.
Mr. Barnes, how'd you come up with the idea for the Hula-Hoop?
It was no great idea, really.
A thing like this takes a whole company to put together.
I'm grateful for the opportunity.
Did you have any idea there'd be such a huge response?
Frankly, I don't think anybody expected this much hoopla.
"Hoopla on the Hula-Hoop." Can we quote you on that, Mr. Barnes?
Sure, I guess.
Mr. Barnes, will you give yourself a nice, fat raise?
Come on, you guys.
What scientific principle explains the mind-bending motion...
...of this whipping wheel of wonder?
The dingus is quite simple, really.
It operates on the same principles...
...that keep the Earth spinning around the sun...
...and that keeps you from flying off the Earth...
...into the cold reaches of space...
...where you would die like a miserable swine.
Yes, the principle is the same...
...except for the piece of grit they put in to make the experience...
Yes, it's Hula-Hula everywhere!
From the parties of the Park Avenue smart set...
...to sweethearts who want to be married in the swing of things.
Mr. Barnes, did the board consider you an idea man...
...when they promoted you from the mailroom?
I guess so, I don't think they promoted me because they thought I was a schmo.
Mr. Barnes, what's the next big idea for you and Hudsucker?
Jesus, I don't know.
An idea like this sweet baby doesn't just come overnight.
Although, I'll tell you one thing, I certainly didn't expect all this hoopla.
You can quote me on that.
Rumpus Magazine has called you the most eligible bachelor.
And society pages have been linking you with fashion model Za-Za.
- You care to comment? - There's no truth to the rumors.
We're just dear friends. Isn't that right, Za-Za?
Whoa. How do you respond to the charges that you're out of ideas?
Has Norville Barnes run dry?
Not at all. Just this week I came up with several new sweet ideas.
A larger model Hula-Hoop for the portly, a battery option for the lazy or spastic.
A model with extra sand for the hard-of-hearing.
I'm earning my keep.
Speaking of that, do you expect to get a raise?
By anyone's account, I single-handedly have saved Hudsucker Industries.
Our stock is worth more now than ever.
Yes, I expect to be compensated for that.
- Pull yourself together, man. - Nobody told me!
You sold all our stock?
We dumped the whole load.
I had 20,000 shares!
I'd be a millionaire now.
Sure. We'd all be millionaires.
There's no point in looking back.
At the time, Stillson thought dumping our position would panic the market...
...further depress the stock.
Then we could buy it back and more, of course, once it got cheap.
Cheap? It's never been more valuable!
And I'm ruined. Ruined!
I'm getting off this merry-go-round!
Had it installed last week.
All right, so the kid caught a wave.
Right now, he and his dingus are on top.
Well, this too shall pass.
Myrtle J. Mussburger did not raise her boy to go...
...knock-kneed at the first sign of adversity.
I say, we made this chump, we can break him!
I say, the higher he climbs, the harder he drops!
I say, yes...
...the kid has a future...
...and in it...
...I see shame, dishonor...
The music plays, the wheel turns...
...and our spin ain't over yet.
For Pete's sakes, Norville!
Oh, Amy, where have you been hiding?
Do you know what those nincompoops in the boardroom are doing?
I wouldn't call them nincompoops.
They're discharging 80 percent of the workforce.
In New York City alone, that means 1800 people out of work!
People with wives, children and families!
Oh, yes, we're pruning away some of the dead wood.
- You mean you know about this? - Know about it? Sure.
You think the board would do anything without my authorization?
It was my idea from the start.
- Your... - Sure, it was.
We're in a period of transition here. Things have slowed.
You're being awfully kind to yourself, Norville Barnes.
You've slowed down, sitting up here like a sultan, not doing a lick of work.
You know ideas are the lifeblood of industry...
...and you haven't come up with one since the Hoop.
You've forgotten what made your ideas exciting to you.
If it wasn't for the fame, wealth, the adulation...
Would you get out of here?
You too, sisters, move it. Out, out, out!
I've been watching you, even though you've been avoiding me.
Don't think I haven't noticed how you've changed.
I used to think you were a swell guy.
I thought you were an imbecile.
- Amy, I'm... - Shut up!
Then I figured out you were a swell guy. A little slow, but a swell guy.
Maybe you're not so slow, oh, but you're not so swell either.
Looks like you're an imbecile, after all. Shut up!
You haven't talked to me for a week and now I'm going to say my piece.
Look, I've never been...
...dumped by a fella before, and that hurts...
...but what really hurts is watching you outrun your soul!
Chasing after money and ease and the respect of a board...
...that wouldn't give you the time of day if you...
- if you... - Worked in a watch factory?
Shut up! Exactly.
Norville, don't you remember how you used to feel about the Hoop?
You told me you'd gonna bring a smile to the hips of everyone in America...
...regardless of race, creed or color.
Finally, there'd be a thingamajig that would bring everyone together...
...even if it kept them apart spatially.
"You know, for kids."
Your words, Norville, not mine.
I used to love Norville Barnes.
Yes, love him...
...when he was just a swell kid with hot ideas who was in over his head.
Now your head's too big to be in over!
- Hey. - Consider this my resignation.
Buddy. Buddy, say, buddy.
Buddy, say, buddy.
Buddy. You busy?
Looks like you nodded off there, buddy. Say, you got a minute?
Is this important?
I think so. It's this little idea I've been working on.
You see, I don't intend to be an elevator boy forever.
Take a look at this sweet baby!
Get it? Incredibly convenient, isn't it?
You know, for drinks?
This is how it works. It's got these ridges...
...on the side that give it its whammy.
See, you don't have to drink like this anymore. You can drink like this.
I call it the Buzz-Sucker. You get it, buddy?
People are dying for this and we won't have to charge an arm an...
Wait a minute.
Huh? But, buddy...
This is the most idiotic thing I've ever seen.
Yeah, but, buddy...
Nobody wants a harebrained product like this.
You see, Buzz, it lacks the creative spark...
...the unalloyed genius that made something like, say...
...the, uh, Hula-Hoop such a success.
What do you mean barging in and taking up my time?
I've got a company to run here!
- But, buddy... - I can't have every deadbeat...
...on the payroll pestering me with their idiotic brainwaves.
I'm sorry, buddy.
- An example must be made. - What do you mean, buddy?
Is that plain enough for you, buster?
And don't call me "buddy."
Oh, please, sir! This job running the elevator, it's all I got!
Uh, it's okay if you don't like it.
Just let me keep my job, I'm praying to you.
Get out of my office! Get up! Up!
We don't crawl here at Hudsucker Industries!
I'm sorry, sir! I'm sorry!
Thank you, Aloysius.
Sorry I'm late, Sid. That back nine at Riverdale's really murder.
It's a tough course. A real lollapalooza.
Sit down, son.
I thought the boardroom would be a swell place to chat undisturbed.
Seems we've got some security problems here at the Hud.
You don't say.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't bother you with it...
...but this is embarrassing.
It concerns you directly.
- How's that, Sid? - It's not serious in itself.
Some elevator boy that you'd fired came to me...
...claiming that you'd stolen the idea for, um, the dingus.
You'd stolen it from him.
- Maybe I was a little rough on him... - Forget it.
You don't have to explain to me. He's a little person. He's nothing.
Fire whoever you want.
No, the problem is who you hired.
That dame. A spy, as it turns out.
She must have gotten to that elevator schnook...
...and her paper is going to town.
Sure, sure, we tried to kill the story, but the Argus won't play ball.
The problem the board will have is you hired this woman...
...and you kept her on...
...while she was making a chump out of you.
Serious error in judgment.
Business is war, kid.
Take no prisoners, give no second chances.
When the board meets after New Year's...
Looks like you're finished.
Oh, fourteenth hole at Riverdale...
...some use a mashie, some use a niblick.
You get more loft, more backspin.
...she got your throat pretty well slit.
When you're dead, you stay dead.
You don't believe me, ask Waring Hudsucker.
Tough luck, kid. You had a short climb up.
It's a long way down.
Stolen hoop idea from... You can't print that!
We are printing it!
She hits the streets this evening.
And she's dynamite!
But, Al, it's the bunk!
Norville showed me his design the, uh, day I met him.
Buzz couldn't have invented it. Look at him, he's an imbecile.
Aren't you a broken record? Gunderson did design it.
Apparently, he's a prodigy.
- Says who? - You're not the only one with sources.
Smith has a source on the Hud board. Very hush-hush.
Yeah. I bet his initials are Sidney J. Mussburger.
You lost it, Amy. You gone soft, by the looks of it.
Soft on the dummy from Dubuque.
Muncie. AL: Whatever!
This story's hot and you're no longer on top of it. It's the scoop of the century!
The other papers won't have this till tomorrow!
They'll be choking on our dust come morning.
You're fools, both of you! You're being used, don't you see, ugh?
Take a break. You worked hard on this story. You broke it for us.
But it's passed you by and Smith's taking up the slack.
Tsk, oh, you want slack, I'll give you slack!
You're not putting me out to pasture! I quit! Consider this my resignation!
So tell me...
...why do you feel this woman betrayed you?
Tsk, oh, what's the difference?
The whole world, it seems, is against you?
I don't know.
Und the elevator boy...
...Buzz, he too works against you?
Patient displayed listlessness, apathy, gloomy indidderence...
...und was blue und mopey.
When asked what the Rorschach stains represented, patient replied:
"Nothing much. I don't know. Just a blotch. Sure beats me."
Patient shows no ambition, no get-up-and-go, no vim.
He is riding the grand loopen-ze-loop...
...that goes from the height of delusional gaiety...
...to the trough of despair.
He is now near, but not yet at his lowest point.
When he reaches bottom, he may erupt und pose a danger to himself und others.
Diagnosis, Dr. Bronfenbrenner?
Patient is eine manic-depressive paranoid, type B...
...with acute schizoid tendencies.
So patient is?
Three things, commitment, electroconvulsive therapy...
...maintenance in eine secure facility.
Yeah, he's a tall guy. A real mess.
Yeah, yeah, look, you better get down here. He says he's a friend of yours.
He didn't say. But, man, is he from Squaresville.
I want a martini!
It's New Year's Eve. I deserve a martini.
- Daddy, it's like I've been telling you. You... - I thought you served misfits here.
Yeah, daddy. That's a roger. But we don't sell alcohol.
What kind of bar is it, you can't get a martini?
It's a juice-and-coddee bar, man, like I've been telling you.
- Right. So I want a martini. - Argh.
I've had a martini in every bar all the way down here, heh.
Martinis are for squares, man.
What'd you call me, you beatnik son of a...?
- Oh-ho, look who's here, Amy Archer... - Oh, no.
...Prizeter Pule winner.
Looking for a nitwit to buy you lunch?
- Norville, I'm sorry. - Bar fella, I'd like...
...a martini, please.
I tried to tell you so many times, I...
It's hard to admit when you've been wrong.
If you could just...
...find it in your heart to give me another chance.
"You take no prisoners, give no second chances."
Please, Norville! Please give me one more chance!
And yourself too. We both deserve one.
Just give us a second chance.
Together we can fight this thing.
I know this last story was a lie and we can prove it.
You got to release a statement.
- I can help you write it. - Oh, what's the difference?
I'm all washed up.
Extinct. Homo sapiens sapicus.
Well, heh, that just about does it.
I've seen Norville Barnes, the young man in a big hurry...
...and I've seen Norville Barnes, the self-important heel.
But I've never seen Norville Barnes, the quitter...
...and I don't like it.
Fight on, dear old Muncie.
Fight on. Hoist the gold and blue.
You'll be tattered, torn and hurting.
Once the Munce is done with you.
You can't surrender, Norville. Remember.
Fight on, Fight on Dear old Muncie
Fight on Hoist the gold and blue
You'll be tattered, torn and hurting
You lied to me. How could you lie to me?
You, a Muncie girl.
But, Norville, I...
When you're dead, you stay dead. Just ask Waring Hudsucker!
Extra, extra! New Year's Eve edition!
Barnes' brain caught red-handed!
Man from Muncie a moron after all!
Read all about it!
New Year's Eve edition! Man from Muncie a moron after all!
You're not so slow, but you're not so swell.
And it looks like you're an imbecile after all.
Sure, sure. But your friends called you dope?
Dipstick? Lamebrain? Schmo?
Please, buddy, running the elevator, it's all I got.
Norville, you let me down.
You let Mrs. Eisenhower down. You let the American people down.
- And when you're dead, you stay dead. - Ha-ha-ha.
You stay dead, you stay dead. Sure, sure.
The kid is screwy, it's oddicial.
The barred-window boys are out looking for him now.
We'll see how Wall Street likes the news...
...that the president of Hudsucker is headed for the booby hatch.
Heh, when Doc Bronfenbrenner gets through with him...
...he'll need diapers and a dribble cup.
Well, if that's all...
Long live the Hud!
Watch where you're... Hiya, buddy!
- Buzz? - Out on the town, huh? Guess what?
Sid says I can have my old job back. I deserve a second chance, he says.
- Huh? He did? - Turns out he's not such a bad guy after all.
- Ha, ha. - Buzz, that's wonderful.
He told me you stole that swell hoop idea from me. What gives?
- Buzz, I would never... - Gee, that was a swell idea.
And Sid says you stoled it!
What are you waiting on, Clarence? Pop him one.
He's that big-shot faker!
- That Wall Street fraud guy. - Nuttier than a fruitcake.
Somebody call the cops!
Ring out the old, ring in the new.
Ring out the old, ring in the new.
Hey. Hey! Aah!
Strictly speaking, I'm never supposed to do this...
...but have you got a better idea?
She'll be driving Six white horses when she comes
She'll be driving six white horses
We'll all have chicken and dumplings When she comes
We'll all have chicken and dumplings Yes, we'll all have chicken and dumplings
We'll all have chicken and dumplings When she comes
She'll be coming round the mountain When she comes
She'll be coming round the mountain She'll be coming round the mountain
She'll be coming round the mountain When she comes
She'll be coming round the mountain I said coming round the mountain
Oh, yeah, coming round the mountain When she comes
Love that tune. How you doing, kid?
How do you like that thing? They're all wearing them upstairs.
Tsk, it's a fad. Anyway...
...I see you've been having some, uh, problems with the board.
I guess Sidney's, uh, putting the screws to you, huh, Norman.
- Norville. - Yeah, yeah.
Say what you like about the man's ethics.
He's a balls-to-the-wall businessman.
Beat you any way he can. Straight for the jugular. Eddective.
Any particular reason...
...you didn't give him my blue letter? - Oh.
Jesus, Norman, just a dying man's last words and wishes, no big deal.
Mr. Hudsucker, I must've mislaid it...
It's in your apron pocket, right where you left it.
Failure to deliver a blue letter is grounds for dismissal.
- Jeez, sir, I... - Oh, it's New Year's.
I'm not gonna add to your woes. I'm just saying.
Anyway, you wanna read it? You might learn something.
Might keep you from jumping out of any more windows.
"Blue letter from the desk of Waring Hudsucker..."
...to Sidney J. Mussburger, regarding my demise.
Dear, Sid, by the time you read this...
...I will have joined the organization upstairs...
"...an exciting new beginning. I will retain fond..."
- Memories. - "Of the years you and I have spent..."
Yeah, yeah, standard resignation boilerplate.
Go down to the second paragraph.
"You will no doubt be wondering why I've decided to end my tenure..."
...both at Hudsucker and here on Earth.
From the standpoint of our balance sheet and financials...
...sure, sure, we're doing fine.
But in my personal life, Sidney, I have made grave errors.
I have let my success become my identity.
I have foolishly played the great man...
...and watched my life become more and more empty as a result.
My vanity drove away she who could've saved me.
Oh, yes, I loved a woman once, Sid, as you well know.
A beautiful, vibrant lady...
"...and angel who, in her wisdom, saw fit to choose you instead of I."
Skip this part.
Next page. Next page!
"This brings me to our company, Sid, and its future."
Our next president must have the liberty I have had as owner...
...to experiment and even fall." - Fail.
"Without fear of the whims of the stockholders or an impatient board."
- The new president must be free to fall... - Fail!
...and learn to fail... - Fall!
...and rise again by applying what he has learned.
Such is business. Such is life.
Accordingly, I hereby bequeath all of my shares in Hudsucker Industry...
...to whomever you and the board shall elect to succeed me as president.
I assume this will be you, Sidney.
"If not, if the board should choose someone else to be president then, then..."
Tough titty toenails!
That'll show the bastard!
Okay, go ahead.
"Then I urge you to work with the new president..."
...and remind him when he needs to be reminded...
...that failure should never lead to despair.
Despair looks only to the past, in business...
"...and in love."
The future is now.
The future is now.
"When our future president needs it..."
...Waring Hudsucker, hereby bequeaths him...
"...his second chance."
Ha-ha-ha. NORVILLE: Aah!
Deliver that letter in the morning!
Ha, ha. Yoo-hoo! Yaa-haa!
And so began 1959. The New Year.
When he learned that Norville owned the company, Sidney was upset at first.
It's a good thing Doc Bronfenbrenner was there...
...because he was able to keep Sidney from harming his old self.
He prescribed a long rest in the sana... In the sanator, uh...
In the booby hatch.
Now, Norville, heh...
...he went on and ruled with wisdom and compassion...
...and started dreaming up them exciting new ideas again.
You know, for kids.
I had the boys down at R&D throw together this prototype...
...so our discussion could have focus...
...and to give you gentlemen of the board a firsthand look.
That's the story of how Norville Barnes climbed way up...
...to the 44th floor of the Hudsucker building...
...and then fell all the way down, but didn't quite squish his self.
You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the 45th floor.
But that's another story.