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Raising Arizona 1987

4.3 out of 5 stars (40) IMDb 7.4/10

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.

Starring:
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter
Runtime:
1 hour, 34 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Crime, Comedy
Director Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter
Supporting actors Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn, Lynne Kitei, Peter Benedek, Charles 'Lew' Smith, Warren Keith, Henry Kendrick, Sidney Dawson, Richard Blake, Troy Nabors, Mary Seibel, John O'Donnal, Keith Jandacek
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 May 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the great overlooked comedies of all time. It features Nicholas Cage, John Gooden and Holly Hunter in roles that will be a surprise to you based on other work they've done. Nicholas Cage in particular is great fun as a loopy crook who is attempting to set his life straight when his wife (Holly Hunter) decides they need to kidnap a baby; John Gooden is Cage's ex-con buddy. But instead of following this formula through predictable, Hollywood paces, the Coen brothers send it over-the-top. You can't help but laugh at the plot, the actors, and the movie makers themselves for putting this concoction together. Buy it, watch it, make your friends watch it.
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Format: DVD
Repeat offender Herbert finds romance in an unlikely place, and after several meetings at the police station he proposes to police officer Edwina. It's a white-trash fairytale - until they realise they are unable to have children together. When a local couple have six babies in one go - they figure they won't miss one...

This Coen brothers comedy manages to turn a pair of child snatchers into a couple you feel for. Although they are child abductors it's difficult to dislike them, their reasoning is flawed but they are driven by good intentions and despite their actions they are essentially well meaning folk who have lost touch with reality. After stealing one of the quints they feel their family is complete and their love for their new son is touching, you know that it can't last though and events become more surreal when old friends turn up on the doorstep - when you're trying to not attract the attention of the law you really don't need escaped convicts lodging in your house.

Both Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are perfectly cast as the dysfunctional couple. This dark comedy contains more drama than humour and their ability to portray inner turmoil makes them feel like rounded individuals, they have an emotional depth and their own personal story helps drive the film. Despite the craziness of the situation, the drama surrounding their relationship is powerful and the most effective scenes are the ones where it's just Cage and Hunter. We aren't just watching a daft comedy about a childless couple running from the law, we get so see a relationship which at first appeared solid, start to break down because of the pressure it tries to absorb.
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If, like me, you hate all that 'over the top' american humour that seems to be rammed down our throat's by 'this years stand up comedian turned actor' then you'll love this 'over the top' american comedy. Yes it's farcical at times and yes it's in an 'over the top' style but it's totally balanced by the fact that this film contains so much fantastic humour. Hunter and Cage act their socks off as a comedy/tragic couple rather in the way Hoskins did in Roger Rabbit, The Coen brothers - what were they on when they wrote this - yet it's all done with such precission and timing, then add to that the manic camera work of Sonnenfeld and the totally manic sondtrack of Burwell, plus John Goodman at his mean best and you get the feeling that everything must have just slotted into place nicely on set, which probably belies the real amount of effort that must have gone into making this film.
So take next years 'stand up comedian turned actor' and sit him down to watch this before he even thinks of wasting our valuable time. This sends canned laughter back to where it belongs - the can.
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Format: DVD
This was a firm favourite of mine as a teenager, due mainly to the plethora of brilliantly quotable lines (teenagers,eh?) But it is still just as original, funny, strange and clever as it ever was, with a great cast of actors, the role of a lifetime for Nicolas Cage, which i'm sure helped him break out and be considered a very versatile actor, and of course the ever fantastic Holly Hunter, plus some wonderful supporting players. The Cohen brothers may of gone on and honed their craft as film makers,but they have never beaten Raising Arizona for laughs.
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The film plays brilliantly...was recommended by a friend as a great movie to watch. I dont call it great at all. N Cage is MUCH better now that he is older and has less hair ;-) My not caring about the film has nothing to do with the seller or their merchandise, just the movie.
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Format: DVD
Ed, a Policewoman, and Hi, a habitual criminal, can't have a baby for medical reasons. However they desperately want to be a proper “family” so they decide to steal one!

Not an obvious story for a comedy you might think, but in the hands of the Coen Brothers (writer and director) and Barry Sonnenfeld (cinematographer), who made together the truly wonderful “Blood Simple” the year before, you would be surprised at how laugh out loud funny it is. Raising Arizona (RA) is a weird and wonderful blast of inventiveness that has now become something of a cult movie, and some would argue the Coen's best to date. I wouldn't go that far but it's definitely in the top 5

Holly Hunter and Nicholas cage both put in superb performances as Ed and Hi, they really do sell that manically surreal story with real conviction. Barry Sonnenfeld's stylish and extremely quirky cinematography, later used to great effect in The Adams Family and Men in Black, helps keep the film slightly off centre and dreamlike, the Coen's trademark writing skills and sharp dialogue is as apparent as ever.

It's not for everyone, Nic Cage's manic intensity could put some off, and that quirky camera work can be a bit of a strain if you can't buy into it, but for me the over the top performances, stylish photography and that Coen's proven ability to direct comedy win the day.

Very funny.
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