Film Sack #47: “The one about Hudson Hawk”

Welcome to episode 47. Today, we discuss the 1991 action comedy, “Hudson Hawk.”

Half loopy parody, half action-comedy, this Bruce Willis vehicle puts its star in the shoes of Hudson Hawk, a skilled cat burglar who times his robberies by singing show tunes. After being released from jail, Hawk wants to do nothing more than hang out in cafés, but criminal financiers Darwin and Minerva Mayflower (Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard) blackmail Hawk into one last job — stealing a Leonardo Da Vinci device that turns lead into gold.

Join Scott, Randy, Brian and Ibbott as we bonk our heads together with sound effects and everything.


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Special thanks to this week for sponsoring the show. As usual, a HUGE thanks to Scott Fletcher, the official announcer of Film Sack Central. Hey! Why not leave us a nice review on iTunes if you like the show?

Up next week? Jason Goes To Hell!

31 thoughts on “Film Sack #47: “The one about Hudson Hawk”

  1. Hey Randy, I think Andie MacDowell is very HOT!

    I believe I saw this question on the SAT:
    “Bruce Willis’ writing in Hudson Hawk is to William Shatner’s directing in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier…”

    Scott didn’t see “The Village”, but saw “Lady in the Water”, I mean “Lady in the Toilet Water.” Something is wrong with Scott.

    I loved Bruce Willis in “The Whole Nine Yards.” And I join Scott’s Mom in disliking “Pulp Fiction.”

    Hey Scott, it’s James Arness.

    John Bender’s “Dad rant” in “The Breakfast Club” is the worst “edited for television” scene EVER!


  2. I really liked Randy’s comment at the end about how nice it is that you can have total divergent views of the movie and still discuss without getting upset about it. The reason is because I really liked Hudson Hawk when I saw it back in 1991 and still watch it from time to time. My favorable opinion is probably affected by the fact that I watched it right after graduation with a bunch of college buddies who were both Moonlighting and Die Hard fans and had a real sarcastic sense of humor. I really liked it at the time and went out of my way to highly recommend it to everyone I knew.

    I’ve watched it a few times since and I must admit that it wasn’t as good in subsequent viewing but I still do like the movie. The movie has had staying power for me in a different way because 20 years later whenever I recommend a movie to my friends and family I still hear from time to time — “Yeah but is it as good as Hudson Hawk?”

    Arrgghh!! I don’t care what anyone says … it’s not that bad!

  3. Hudson Hawk is a movie I enjoy every time I see it.

    Willis is greatly impersonating Arsene Lupin in the modern age in a totally over-the-top comedy. If you read the books, you would understand my opinion on the movie.

    I was really surprised you do not like it (apart from Mr Coverville). Maybe you should stick to serious classics, Randy seems to be into that…

  4. Wooooow. This movie approached Young Einstein levels of badness. I had faint memories of Bruce Willis running around some castle in the dark, and thought this would be a fun watch. Instead, I found myself sitting in front of the TV wondering if anyone was sane in 1991. By the time Hudson Hawk was careening down the highway on a hospital gurney making stupid jokes I began to wonder if I was still sane.

    What is it with Andie MacDowell? Contra Randy I think she’s very good-looking; that’s not the problem. Maybe it’s that as somebody else (Ibbott?) suggested, she just seems to play the same bland non-character in every movie. Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral are both great movies, but in spite of her. She’s like a place-holder of an actress, somebody for the male lead to be interested in and react to because….well, that’s what the script says he should do. There, now I’ve earned some hate mail as well.

  5. Oh, also– this isn’t unique to Hudson Hawk at all, but the Film Sack episode for this movie made me laugh about twenty times more than the movie itself. Ho Ho HO ho.

  6. At least the movie was more entertaining than the video game. I remember playing it on my Commodore Amiga back in the day when “movie license” = “crap platformer.” Maybe “Made into a videogame” should be on the list? Fright Night, War Games, Blue Thunder, Dune, Krull, and many other Film Sack favorites had craptacular video game adaptations.

  7. If you guys liked “The Island” (1979) a movie you should look up is “Parts: the Clonus Horror” It fits the Film sack selection, and the director actually sued the makers of the Island. (They Settled)

  8. Mrs. Brewster!

    (0 minutes)
    Sex Lies and Videotape, Groundhog Day, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Multiplicity
    ( 10 minutes)
    Eye of The Tiger, Staying Alive, Blue Velvet, Dune, Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Mulholland Drive, Eraser Head, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Die Hard
    (20 minutes)
    [Hudson Hawk 2], da Vinci Code, National Treasure, National Treasure 2, Night at the Museum, Killer Clowns From Outer Space, Retrograde, Minority Report, Die Hard 2, Die Hard 3, Pink Panther
    (30 minutes)
    The Village, Sixth Sense, The Island, Unbreakable, Fifth Element, Dark Night, Sin City, Pulp Fiction, Oceans Twelve, The Kid, Two and a Half Men, Gunsmoke Radio
    (40 minutes)
    Adams Family, The Big Lebowski, The Breakfast Club, Harlem Nights, Godfather, The Wizard
    (50 minutes)
    Predator, Roast Panel Shows, Empire Strikes Back, Original V, Twelve Monkeys, Fight Club, Waterworld
    (60 minutes)
    Saving Private Ryan, Crystal Skull, Remade ET, Star Trek, Transformers
    Total this week – 56

    There’s a lot of ridiculous soundbites and noises in Hudson Hawk so I’m thinking of making another mashup for for this film as well. Watch this space!

  9. Great episode, as usual, gentlemen. However, I must request that you refrain from doing the freaky fright night compilation at the end of any episode ever again ever ever ever. I had fallen asleep listening and woke up with a young gay porn star saying oddball stuff in my ear….needless to say, it wasn’t a highlight of the show for me!!! 🙂

  10. yippe ki yay motherfu–oh wait, wrong movie
    Andi MacDowell is pretty but not ‘hot’
    Not sure whether or not I want to see this movie. Some movies that are bad have some redeeming examples in their badness, but if this is just poor filmmaking, i’m inclined to skip it.

  11. Thank you for doing this one! It is one of my friend’s favorite movies and we give him crap all of the time for it (hear that Emidio?).
    I have the same feelings about Andi MacDowell too. I never understood why she is famous. She is very bland as an “actress”. As far as “hot” goes… I just don’t see it. Very attractive, sure; but hot is going too far.

  12. This movie ranks there with Young Einstein as absolutely utter lameness. Great podcast tho, flat had me laughing the whole time! Going in I was thinking, oh Bruce Willis movie, should be a fun action flick if nothing else…but noooooooooooooooo…this thing is…man
    I can’t even describe it
    bad, that’s about it, bad…not even campy fun, just bad….

  13. I find it surprising how the audience is split on this film. I personally thought it wasn’t too bad. It felt as if it was trying every type of humour (British, clever, ‘toilet’, adult, childish) and ended up being a jack of all jokes and a master of none.

    Thanks for featuring my last mashup in the show. 🙂 Here’s another (NSFW) name dropping audio mashup, for Hudson Hawk.

  14. I had the VHS of this and watched it every 6 months or so. I just checked out the streaming copy too.
    In the ‘Slurp my butt’ line the VHS copy had a different take for the video.
    It always stuck out to me because he was not mouthing ‘slurp my butt’!

  15. I have to say that throughout my youth I very much enjoyed this film. I truly hate the grotesque use of swearing in most movies and given that I was eleven at the time of it’s theatrical release I’m going to assume that I only ever saw the TV versions with censored swearing in them. I think this rather added to my childhood enjoyment honestly. It was always fun for me to watch Bruce Willis movies that had been overdubbed for television broadcasts because the voice actors used to do so produced a truly laughable impression of his voice. The voice used most often on USA for the Die Hard films was hilarious!

    As for a “Hudson Hawk 2”, in my mind growing up I always assumed that the character Bruce Willis plays in “Billy Bathgate” ( that is killed by way of cement boots, was actually Hudson Hawk in another movie. They were both released in 1991 and that connection, though false, stayed with me for years and even now there is a part of me that thinks I was right, and that Bo Weinburg was in fact Hudson Hawk in the movie “Billy Bathgate” as well.

    @Internet Somebody, the mash-up at the close of this episode was fantastic, very well done! However, as someone who is named Vincent, and has in my old age grown to prefer to be called Vincent and introduce myself thus-ly, the mash-up kinda freaked me out a bit. Yes they were saying “Mr. Vincent” most often, but yeah, kinda freaky.

  16. No mention that James Coburn was in the other film sack favorite “Duck, You Sucker”?

    “There’s a hole in the roof!” was the first thing that came to mind when he made his appearance here.

  17. I think you guys mentioned that this was the second Film Sack movie with Mr. Coburn in it, but if I recall correctly, you didn’t actually mention the name of the first, which was “Duck, you Sucker.”

  18. Ok I love the show and have listened since first episode. Usually I tend to agree with mister deluxe. That is until now asi can’t understand how he could be so absolutely and utterly wrong about a movie. It’s not a great movie, but it is so good! Sorry randy, you’re just completely wrong on this one.

  19. Why does Andi McDowell keep calling him Hudson? They’re going to shag and she won’t call him Eddie? I understand it’s the namesake of the movie but Hudson Hawk is his alias. His best friend calls him Eddie but not the love interest? Eh, whatever. Anyone notice the stuntpersons? There’s a Danny Aiello III. The costar of this film is actually “Jr.”

    Singing showtunes and the cappucino didn’t have the effect it should have. I thought both were interesting facets to the character but in the end weren’t used effectively. For example, if something was said about how he was caught, could you say he picked the wrong song and timing was off, it would make it fit his M.O. better.

    No product placement?! Did you see the way Snickers was holding his candybar at the auction… you could read the name perfectly. I normally don’t notice product placement but I found that jarring. Amazing that that sticks out to me with all the other problems. Anyone remember the Nintendo video game (it bombed too)? Hmm… perhaps Nintendo was placement!

    Willis movie cameos: Scott mentioned Zeus playing the convict in The Dark Knight and the president in Fifth Element, how about Gary Oldman who was Commissioner Gordon and Jean Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, respectively. Not to mention, Butterfinger was in The Fifth Element as well.

    You guys pointed out two of my favorite character actors in this movie. Mentioning them made me think of two movies that would be perfect for Film Sack (particularly for this time of year):

    Leonardo Cimino (the priest): He played Scary German Guy in “The Monster Squad.” Love that movie. Kinda safe for watching with older kids. He was also in The Mummy, The Seventh Sign (another priest)

    And Richard E. Grant played a witch hunter in Warlock. Another of my favorites. Would love to see you guys rip it up. Incidentally, posting this after having watched Jason Goes To Hell. Someone in that film is named Richard Gant. I had hope for a moment. Grant has such passion in his roles.

    This was one of the few Bruce Willis movies I didn’t see when it was released. It disappeared from theaters overnight (the only movie to disappear faster in my memory is “Cold as Ice” starring Vanilla Ice… how’s that for perspective?). It didn’t know it’s audience catering to no one. Taken in parts it had moments but as a whole it was a mess. Every time I watch it I always wonder how Bruce Willis feels about it.

  20. I think this movie was spoiled for me because when I originally saw it we were still slowly coming off the high that was Burton’s Batman. That really set the standard for action films at the time and this never really had the same punch. Watching it now, many years later hasn’t changed my initial feelings towards the film. a Few things stuck out: where did that bullet that shattered Hudson’s cup end up? The gurney would have lost it’s momentum long before it reached the candy bar gang … who knew ahead of time exactly where he was going to end up? and about a dozen other little things that always threw me out of the story

  21. I can’t believe you guys didn’t mention that Butterfinger was in a previous Filmsack movie, Street Fighter. He played Zangief. And that in Hudson Hawk, he had one of the most disturbing lines in the movie, while the Candy Squad (or whatever they’re called) were on a stakeout:

    Almond Joy: What’s going on in there?
    Butterfinger: You want me to rape them?
    Snickers: Just read your book, Butterfinger.

  22. Dear Film Sack!

    Thank you for reviewing my 2nd favoritest movie of all time. Yes I know its a ball of crap. But its my absolute favoritest ball of crap ever.

    Johnny C

  23. Ok, so I also love the movie, The Kid, but the little Bruce Willis is definitely not the kid from Two and A Half Men. The Kid is played by Spencer Breslin, Abigail Breslin’s brother and a much better actor than that other dude. Just saying.

  24. I cannot believe there is so much love for The Kid. That is one of my least favorite movies of all time. It may have to do with me working at a one screen theater at the time when I saw it and having to watch it over and over again, but it’s also that kid. I WANTED TO STRANGLE THAT KID! But maybe I just have a problem with children in general.

  25. Hudson Hawk is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can see how people would think it’s bad, but you are ALL WRONG.

    Everything odd and implausible and jarring in this movie is *intentional*. It’s an absurdist parody of caper movies.

    Sprinklers in the limo, people.

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