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Raising Arizona (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  17 April 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 94,420 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 259 user | 74 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintupelets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated.


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4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
T.J. Kuhn ...
Nathan Arizona Jr. (as T.J. Kuhn Jr.)
Lynne Kitei ...
Florence Arizona (as Lynne Dumin Kitei)
Peter Benedek ...
Charles 'Lew' Smith ...
Warren Keith ...
Younger FBI Agent
Henry Kendrick ...
Older FBI Agent
Sidney Dawson ...
Moses, Ear-Bending Cellmate


Recidivist hold-up man H.I. McDonnough and police woman Edwina marry, only to discover they are unable to conceive a child. Desperate for a baby, the pair decide to kidnap one of the quintuplets of furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona. The McDonnoughs try to keep their crime secret, while friends, co-workers and a feral bounty hunter look to use Nathan Jr. for their own purposes. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A comedy beyond belief. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arizona Junior  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$22,847,564 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The lullaby that Ed sings to Nathan, Jr. is the song "Down in the Willow Garden", a folk song about a man sentenced to death after brutally murdering his fiancee. See more »


When H.I.'s form is red-stamped "PAROLED", the word "Searched" is misspelled as "SERACHED". See more »


[first lines]
H.I.: [voiceover] My name is H.I. McDonnaugh. Call me Hi.
See more »

Crazy Credits

filmed on location in Valley of the Sun, Arizona -- a great place to raise your kids See more »


Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Brown Magic (2012) See more »


Down In The Willow Garden
by Arthur Gorson
(C) Copyright Charlie Munroe 1957, 1972
Performed by Holly Hunter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If H.I.'s dream of the hellion Biker is not a phantasm, his dream of being blessed with descendants might come true some day.
3 August 2006 | by (China) – See all my reviews

Parentless recidivist H.I. regards prison as his home. No matter it is a partiality or a revenge in his own words, he robs convenience stores; he goes to jail; he talks nice to a parole board; the cycle repeats itself. And finally falls in love with a policewoman, ED. Life goes easy on them at first. They bask on the folding chairs, dreaming to have a youth to share their thoughts and feelings.Then the story abruptly turns sad. ED.is barren. what should they do?

Tempe is a rock place that bears women deprived of the happiness at conceiving babies.Their wombs are barren and hard like the rocks in the desert. Florence,Dot and ED are the victims of the metaphor.One takes fertility pills,another adopts orphans,the other after being turn down adoption,steals a baby named Nathan Jr.

Nothing could be more exciting than a rebirth. The film tells us what a rebirth is like. Push hard through the saturated mud above your head at the 99% risk of being stifled to death. One second delay would be too late. That's Gale and Evelle's narrow escape from the jail. It sounds surrealist. But that's Coens's wit lies. They twist reality and exaggeration into knots to spin our noggins.Snatching a packet of diapers in a convenience store can be a life-or-death chase scene, without mentioning the leather-clad,bonehead,bounty hunter Biker, who can browbeat nothing except little animals.

Troubles arrive in sequence. That's the way the life is. At the end of the film, H.I. and ED returns the Nathan Jr.to his parents.It doesn't belong to them and will never be theirs.Why not keep the dream of having kids go on? If H.I.'s dream of the hellion Biker is not a phantasm, his dream of being blessed with descendants might come true some day.

In despite of the superficially hilarious scenarios, it is a sad story to the marrow. H.I. and ED's sorrow is not skin-deep and can be felt by any of us who puts heart into this film.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A horrible portrayal of Arizona. shocker-9
Was this film well received when it came out? winkwinknudgenudge
Callback/Homage to Raising Arizona in No Country for Old Men? briar_A
Smalls was Hi's alternate personality trainspotter86
The ones with yodas and *beep* PaleMoonLight33
Did anybody else... lexi270799
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