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  • #6680894
  • Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
  • UPC #024543706908
  • Model #2270690



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    Detail Description
    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 2270690 )

      Combining influences from Tex Avery cartoons to Sam Raimi horror movies to 1940s B-movies, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen followed up the stylish film noir of their debut, Blood Simple (1984), with this frantic screwball comedy. H.I. "Hi" McDonnough (Nicholas Cage) is a philosophical but slightly dim career criminal who has been arrested so often that he gets to know "Ed," short for Edwina (Holly Hunter), the officer who takes his mug shots. Hi takes a shine to Ed and promises to go straight if she marries him. She accepts, and they move to the Arizona desert, where Hi holds down a factory job and blissfully watches the sunsets with Ed. Their serenity is shattered when the couple decides that they want a child and discover that, as Hi puts it, "Ed's womb was a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase." (One of the film's many delights is Hi's unexpectedly flowery dime-novel narration.) Ed goes into a severe depression until she sees an item in the news. Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson), owner of a chain of unpainted furniture stores, has become the father of quintuplets, and he and his wife joke that they now have more children than they know what to do with. In what seems like a perfect "helps you, helps me" situation, Hi and Ed kidnap one of the Arizona infants, figuring that they'll have a baby and the Arizonas will have less of a burden. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
    Movie Type
    Movie Level Themes
      Escape From Prison, Mercenaries, Unlikely Criminals, Kidnapping, Parenthood
    Movie Level Tones
      Quirky, Deadpan, Goofy, Witty, Satirical, Madcap, Frantic
      AMG Rating


        Following their noir debut, Blood Simple (1984), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen turned their idiosyncratic, film-literate attentions to screwball comedy in Raising Arizona (1987). The Coens play the American Dream for farce, as non-violent hold-up man "Hi" (Nicolas Cage) and mug shot photographer Edwina (Holly Hunter) attempt parenthood through kidnapping. With nods to cartoon slapstick and The Road Warrior (1981), among others, and a script that mixes southwestern slang and polished locutions, the Coens extract maximum wackiness from their sly send-up of familial urges. From crude yet refined convicts Gale (John Goodman) and Evelle (William Forsythe) to blowhard father Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson) to swinging procreators Glen (Sam McMurray) and Dot (Frances McDormand), all the cartoony characters want to parent baby Arizona for all the wrong reasons. Cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld's sharp compositions, low camera, and manic "shakycam" shots showcase the Coens' energetic visual wit, particularly in a prolonged chase featuring dogs, cops, a "panty"-wearing Hi, and a package of purloined Huggies. Complete with carefully modulated over-the-top performances from the entire cast, Raising Arizona confirmed the Coens' place among the most distinctive filmmakers to emerge from the 1980s independent cinema. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi


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