Raising Arizona (1987)

My knowledge of Coen Brothers films is low. I have not seen a ton of them, so this is a good opportunity, during the DailyView, to catch up on some of them. One of the highest rated of the Coen Brothers films was the Nic Cage starring vehicle, Raising Arizona.

Small time thief H.I. McDunnough (Nic Cage) was being arrested and taken to jail on a regular basis. Every time he was arrested, he had his mug shot taken by a female cop named Ed (Holly Hunter). Each time, H.I. started to fall for her more and more. Finally, deciding to turn his life around, H.I. proposed to Ed.

The couple had some happy days together until Ed decided it was time to have children. She found out that she was barren and they did not make the best adopted parent candidates.

Meanwhile, furniture magnet Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson) and his wife Dot (Frances McDormand) found themselves having quintuplets. Desperate to have a child, H.I. and Ed kidnapped one of the children, telling themselves that they were helping out because Mrs. Arizona had too many than she could handle.

A cast of weird characters rolled through the film, including two of H.I.’s former prison mates with Gale (John Goodman) and Evelle (William Forsythe), H.I.’s boss Glenn (Sam McMurray), and the bloodhound tracker Leonard Smalls (Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb).

Raising Arizona was extremely funny and weirdly eccentric. The Coen feel is all over this movie. I enjoyed the amazing characters that help to create the world. The key to the characters is that, even though they are bizarre, they are real people with thoughts and feelings. They are not just caricatures.

NIc Cage is great here. I actually forgot that Cage was playing H.I. after awhile and he blended himself into the character. Holly Hunter made a great match with him and their coupling worked well. You rooted for these people despite their seemingly countless poor choices. And the diaper chase scene was just hilarious.

I also doubled over from laughing when john Goodman had asked where the bank tellers were during their robbery. OMG!

This was a wonderful film, full of uncertainty and humor. I enjoyed this a great deal.

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