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Raising Arizona

A movie directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

< read all 6 reviews

No matter how down and out you are, with that book by Dr. Spock, you can raise a baby too.

  • Oct 25, 2010
Rating:
+4

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 to allow us to enjoy what goes on and I like how a lot of Coen movies do this, tell us the story and then get on with whats going to happen.  In the movie, Nicolas Cage is H.I. McDonough, a convience store robber who just can't stay out of jail for his continued crimes.  Each time he's in though, he gets to meet Ed, played by Holly Hunter tells H.I. her relationship problems.  H.I. and Ed eventually date and marry and as time goes on, decide to have a family.  Problem is, Ed is infertile and H.I.'s criminal record makes adoption impoosible-so what to do?  Steal a baby!  The wealthy Arizona family just had quints and they have so many....and H.I. and Ed have none, so after picking out a baby, it's time for family life!

The characters in this movie are probably the most broad of any of the Coen's other characters who came before.  H.I. is a dundering fool and Holly Hunter's Ed is so straight faced she could be a portrait.  John Goodman and William Forscythe are loud and unapologetically up to no good as former jail birds.  Randall "Tex" Cobb is the dirtiest and scariest biker bounty hunter you saw, with worn and sun-faded denim, a scruffy beard and yellow teeth coming out from those brown cigs he's smoking.  Trey Wilson plays a furnature tycoon and has a small part as the dad of the quints who gets one of my favorite lines ever in telling a cop what his son was wearing when kidnapped.

"I don't know - they were jammies!  They had Yoda's n' sh*t on 'em!"

I usually don't think of Yoda from Star Wars and feces but I do now.  Especially after seeing Episode II, but I digress.

Raising Arizona is mostly known for it's humor, with it's weird characters acting...well weird with H.I.'s boss who can barely get through a simple conversation without remembering his bad pollock jokes, to Goodman and Forscythe slurping cereal and screaming whenever they can but the movie is known for it's ABSURD chase scene with H.I. on foot chased by cops and dogs, going through peoples houses and through a grocery store and NO I am not doing this scene justice here, it must be seen.  It could very well rank up with Bullitt with one of the best chases of all time.

Raising Arizona was the blueprint for future Coen Brothers movies to come with it's auditory style going into films like The Hudsucker Proxy and Burn After Reading to it's wacko characters that, well almost all of they're movies save for A Serious Man would have.  If you want to know where the Coen's wack comedic styles came from, your in the right spot, right where H.I.'s boss's kids wrote FART on the wall.

No matter how down and out you are, as long as you that book by Dr. Spock, you can raise a baby too.

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November 02, 2010
Great review, John! We expect a review of TRUE GRIT from you real soon!
November 02, 2010
I may even SEE it on Christmas which I've never done before, seeing a movie at the theater on Christmas but this is a special occasion.
 
October 25, 2010
Excellent review 2 an excellent movie
October 25, 2010
I saw it again on TV for the first time in years the other night. It is good.
 
1
More Raising Arizona reviews
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 …
review by . April 03, 2003
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 …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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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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