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Raising Arizona (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime | 17 April 1987 (USA)
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.

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,
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ed
...
...
...
...
...
Dot
...
T.J. Kuhn ...
Nathan Junior (as T.J. Kuhn Jr.)
Lynne Kitei ...
Florence Arizona (as Lynne Dumin Kitei)
Peter Benedek ...
Charles 'Lew' Smith ...
...
Younger FBI Agent
...
Older FBI Agent
Sidney Dawson ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A comedy beyond belief. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arizona Junior  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,240, 15 March 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,847,564

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,180,280, 31 December 1990
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the letters POE and OPE (a reference to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove) are shown reflected in the mirror in reverse, the writing on the "We aim to please..." sign on the same wall is not reversed. Later, when the Biker breaks down the door, you can see that the sign is actually printed in reverse lettering. See more »

Goofs

The police take Nathan Arizona's fingerprints in order to separate his from those that the kidnapper may have left. Since Hi didn't use any gloves when he entered the quintuplets' room and since he has a criminal record (with his fingerprints on file), shouldn't the police learn his identity immediately through the fingerprints he left on the window sill and elsewhere? See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Baby Wrangler See more »

Connections

References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Okay, then...
6 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

This is one of those surreal experiences that make you wonder whether or not you laughed at what you saw or what you THOUGHT you had seen. Of course, being concocted by Joel and Ethan Coen makes it even more surreal.

As "repeat offender" H. I. McDonnough, Nicolas Cage creates yet another strange, offbeat character that gets under your skin for days after. After returning to the same prison time after time under the eye of Officer Ed (Holly Hunter), he goes straight and they get married, planning to have a big family. It is only then, he finds that Ed is a "barren, rocky place".

So, what's a couple to do?

This is where the "Arizona" of the title comes in, when they steal one of the quintuplets of the Arizona family. Naturally, the father (Wilson) goes all out to find the culprits, even enlisting the aid of a "tracker" (Cobb), who is kind of an existential bounty hunter with a good nose.

From this deceptively simple story line, the Coens create a dreamscape that is mesmerizing, serpentine, loaded with all matter of visual input, deft one-liners and characters that are so off-the-wall that it's hard to forget them and the situations they get into.

Coen Brother stalwart John Goodman plays yet another flaky loon - this time an escaped con - who, along with his little brother (Forsythe) complain that the prison "had no more to offer them".

Of course, the chases, fight scenes and getaway scenes are elaborate, well-choreographed and exciting, as well as funny. How could they not be? This whole movie is one huge snowball rolling down the side of a mountain, growing larger and rolling faster as it reaches the end of its trip.

But to try and explain this movie is an exercise in futility; you'd be better off explaining Kierkegaard to a room full of second-graders. You just have to see it yourself. If your sense of humor is a bit on the dry side and you love fancy camera work and Fellini-esque characters, it's your kind of movie.

Trust me.

Ten stars and a complimentary pack of Huggies for "Raising Arizona", the best Dadaist head trip film with kidnapped babies, exploding bunnies and Frances McDormand in the desert you'll ever find...that has a fight in a trailer.


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