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Raising Arizona

A movie directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

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ONE OF THE FUNNIEST MOVIES EVER!!!``

  • Apr 3, 2003
  • by
Rating:
+5
Once in awhile, you see a movie comedy that almost exactly matches your sense of humor, and RAISING ARIZONA certainly did that for me. Almost every moment that his presented as funny IS funny (at least to me). Yes, it is the story of a rather hapless couple (an ex-con, barely, and a cop) who can't conceive and can't adopt, and thus kidnap one baby from a set of quintuplets. It sounds unpleasant, but is far from it.

The baby is absolutely charming, and softens and charms the hearts of everyone he meets. Not for one instant do we feel the baby is in danger, and thus we can sit back and enjoy the antics.

The Coen Brothers have made lots of stylish movies (FARGO, MILLER'S CROSSING, BLOOD SIMPLE, etc. etc.) but RAISING ARIZONA is stylish in a loose way, if that makes sense. They use stunning camera work and amazing angles, which we are all VERY aware of as viewers, but they serve to add to the humor and tone of the movie. Midway through, there is the funniest chase sequence ever, where poor Hi tries to get diapers for his baby, and gets caught up in a police chase involving cops, vicious dogs, shopping carts and one very ticked off wife!

The movie begins with a fifteen minute opening sequence, quickly telling us the story of how Hi (Nicholas Cage) a three time loser for petty armed robbery (never used live ammo) meets policewoman Edwina (Holly Hunter) as he's having his mug shot taken, and falls for her, gets out of jail, marries, they're happy, then can't have kids and fall into despair. After the opening, the credits start, and we realize, in an amazed way, that we've already seen more story and had more laughs than most movies deliver in their entire length.

The Coens don't waste any energy. Every single line is obviously lovingly crafted for maximum humor and to establish character. Everyone has a rhythm and way of speaking that shows their obvious intelligence and then contrasts that intelligence with their VERY poor choices in life. For example, John Goodman plays one of a pair of brothers who escape from prison (in a hilarious, unforgettable rainsoaked scene) and come to "visit" Hi just a day after he's gotten Jr., the new baby. Goodman will speak wisely with Hi about the shackles of marriage, and then launch on a totally stupid bank robbery.

Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter have never been better. Cage, in particular, is touching, frustrating, hilarious and at his hangdog best. He's done flashier roles, of course, but seldom has he been more perfectly cast. The wonderful Frances McDormand has a small, but hysterical role.

My friends and I can now quote whole passages of this movie. If you like RAISING ARIZONA, you'll love it. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground. I know a few people who hate the movie, but many more who watch it at least once a year, regular as clockwork. If you haven't seen it, try it. You may make a friend for life!!

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More Raising Arizona reviews
review by . October 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
No matter how down and out you are, as long as you that book by Dr. Spock, you can raise a baby too.
This is it, the movie where the Coen's lost subtlety, and hit they're mark.  They're hyper and offbeat characters were in and so was they're wacko brand of humor and while this isn't they're best movie, it is certainly the one most remember and the one where a lot of the Coen's trademarks started.      Raising Arizona gets a lot of it's narrative out of the way before the credits even roll which is nice since it allows the rest of the movie …
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I have seen the movie to the point where I have it almost memorized and still laugh like i did when I saw it first. I don't think there is a solid 90 seconds without a laugh out loud moment from first to last frame.
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2009
Wacky, screwball comedy from the Coens in their second movie follows a trailer trash, infertile couple who kidnap a millionaire's baby.
review by . May 28, 2009
"Raising Arizona" tells the story of an ex-con with a penchant for robbing convenience stores, H.I. McDonnough, played by Nicholas Cage and his new wife Ed, short for Edwina, played by and expressly written for Holly Hunter by the Brothers Coen.     Ed and Hi find themselves together after Ed takes Hi's mugshots and while Hi serves three months in prison then paroled , they marry. The film has some great scenes and one liners galore like the prison scene where a group is receiving …
review by . July 22, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"Raising Arizona" tells the story of an ex-con with a penchant for robbing convenience stores, H.I. McDonnough, played by Nicholas Cage and his new wife Ed, short for Edwina, played by and expressly written for Holly Hunter by the Brothers Coen.          Ed and Hi find themselves together after Ed takes Hi's mugshots and while Hi serves three months in prison then paroled , they marry. The film has some great scenes and one liners galore like the prison scene where …
About the reviewer

Ranked #49
I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Wiki

A childless couple unable to adopt decide that a couple who just had quintuplets won't mind if they steal one of the babies. Thus begins the Coen brothers' madcap romp RAISING ARIZONA. Holly Hunter stars as Ed, a cop who is devastated when she learns that she cannot get pregnant. Nicolas Cage is her husband, H.I., an ex-con who wants nothing more than to make his wife the happiest woman in the world. So if she wants a baby, she's going to have a baby, one way or another.

Heading up the supporting cast of bizarre characters are John Goodman and William Forsythe as crazy cousins who have just busted out of prison, Sam McMurray and Frances McDormand as Ed and H.I.'s swinging friends, and Randall "Tex" Cobb as a motorcycle madman hired to rescue the baby. RAISING ARIZONA is the Coen brothers' most consistently funny film. Carter Burwell's score, replete with infectious yodeling, is relentless, Barry Sonnenfeld's cinematography is beautifully wacky, and the manic dialogue is the brothers' most quot...
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