Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Carter Burwell – The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Unfairly dissed at the time of its release (1994), The Hudsucker Proxy has gained many supporters over the years but still, in my opinion, has much re-appraising to go through. One aspect of the Coens’ return to screwball comedy that barely anybody mentions is its score. That’s a shame because it is grand and majestic with a compelling compassion for the characters even at their most pathetic. Reportedly loosely based on the “Adagio” and “Phrygia” movements of the ballet Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian, the music swells with proper punctuation throughout Tim Robbins’ crazy climb up the corporate ladder. A few perfect-for-period Duke Ellington numbers make the cut too but the icing on the Coens’ cake musically is the cameo by Peter Gallagher as fictitious crooner Vic Tenneta who briefly steals one nightclub scene with his rendition of “Memories Are Made Of This”.

01. Prologue
02. Norville Suite
03. Waring’s Descent
04. The Hud Sleeps
05. Light Lunch
06. The Wheel Turns
07. The Hula Hoop
08. Useful
09. Walk of Shame
10. Blue Letter
11. A Long Way Down
12. The Chase
13. Norville’s End
14. Epilogue
15. Norville’s Reprise