Raising Arizona (1987)

When I ended my Valentine’s Marathon, I asked what everyone’s favorite comedy is and to that question, Eric at Isaacs Picture Conclusions told me “a MUST see” called Raising Arizona.  All of you probably know it already because apparently I’m missing out on tons of awesome movies and have a lot of catching up to do.  However, I think most of you know about Eric and his blog the IPC in short but if you don’t, you really have to check it out especially since Shitfest 2013 Fall edition is right around the corner and well, I have a submission for it again 😉 Plus, he posts awesome and fun reviews all the time.  Now, lets check out his recommendation, Raising Arizona!

raising arizona posterDirector: Joel Coen

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Randall Cobb

H.I. McDunnough is a small-town ex-con who has an ex-cop, Edwina ‘Ed’ McDunnough as his wife.  Ed decides that she wants a baby but after trying everything learns that she actually can’t have any.  At the same time, furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona and his wife luckily has quintuplets.  Hearing this news, H.I. and Ed hatch a plan to take one of the them for their own and raise it like their own child. Luckily, they manage to get one and at the same time, H.I. has two jail buddies, brothers Gale and Evelle that bust out of jail and have some big plans to turn their lives around.  On top of that, the situation gets even more complicated when an “emotionless” head hunter (of sorts) approaches Nathan Arizona to search out his baby boy and does so any way possible.

raising arizona holly hunter

Raising Arizona is a very odd comedy.  Is it my favorite? Probably not. I like a lot of weird things but as entertaining as this was, I was absorbed by the different style of comedy that it was.  There was a good many parts that did make me laugh out loud and for the most part, this movie really offered an awesome experience and fun movie watching experience.  And another thing, that whole southern accent thing was totally amazing!

raising arizona nic cage

Number 1 highlight of this movie is Nicholas Cage.  For one, he’s super young.  Was this around when he did Moonstruck because he seems to be sporting that crazy out of control hair style. You know, I’ve always liked the crazy Nicholas Cage act and this one counts as one.  Plus, his whole love struck act at the beginning to Ed (played by Holly Hunter) was pretty hilarious.  Those facial expressions in this one and there was a ton of scenes that just rocked the world.

raising arizona john goodman william forsythe

That’s right! John Goodman is in this! Totally crazy character and I loved it for the most part.  He played a pretty silly character but still, I had a great time watching him on screen.  I’m a huge fan of his from his days on Roseanne and in a few of his movies.  Plus, he had a great chemistry with the on-screen brother played by William Forsythe.  I think if Nicholas Cage doesn’t fully entertain you, these guys definitely will.

raising arizona

I’m running out of reasons as to why I liked the movie so much.  Maybe its because its odd, or its because I found it original and had a lot of style.  I recommend this if you haven’t seen it.  Its fun and pure entertainment.  Nicholas Cage and John Goodman are plenty of awesomeness and as pointless and random as some scenes are, it all wraps up into a pretty amazing comedy.

I think this is the first Nicholas Cage movie I’ve reviewed here.  Let me ask you: Do you like Nicholas Cage? What are your favorite movies of his? What genre do you think he excels at?


37 thoughts on “Raising Arizona (1987)

  1. I will watch anything with Nicholas Cage, even if he just sat there in front of a wall with drying paint on it. To name a favorite movie of his is almost impossible. Even if the critics panned it, I still like it. He’s a great actor and sexy to boot!


      • Critics – bah! They write their opinion as if it is worth gold. I never pay attention if they say a movie isn’t worth seeing. I figure I’m old enough to make up my own mind. (grins)

        I read awhile back that he had financial trouble so they (you know, that mysterious “they”) he was accepting all movie scripts whether they were good or not just to pay off his debts. If it was true or not, it made no difference to me. I like him.


      • Thats apparently what happened to him as I’ve heard also but you know, I didn’t think his movies were that bad. I always found them enjoyable.

        You know, reviews and critics is all very subjective in my opinion. We all will react differently 😉 After I dived into this movie review world, I learned that my tastes are odd as well..haha…


  2. Not really a fan of Cage though his younger days and goofier movies weren’t too bad. I suppose even in more serious roles he doesn’t take himself all that seriously and that’s not a bad thing but generally I don’t really think much of his acting. He’s too hammy and over the top even when the role doesn’t call for it.


  3. YES!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love everything about this movie – I am SO GLAD you watched it (and liked it for the most part). I know there’s some weird moments but what Coen movie doesn’t have them. Things like when the bounty hunter steps into their trailer and bends down to pick up the baby book, then looks up and stares at the word FART written on the wall for a good ten seconds – that’s the kind of stuff that cracks me up. “When there was no crawdad to be found,we ate sand.” “You ate what?” “We ate sand.” “You ate SAND??” “That’s right.”


    • Don’t kill me but I think I’ve seen like 3 Coen movies…Fargo was awesome and Burn After Reading was a tad too much for me. Now, Raising Arizona is the third one and I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe I should watch more to get a better understanding….
      BTW, that bounty hunter dude was mega weird. He was the oddest (if thats a word) part of the movie.
      But that convo in the jail was hilarious..LOL!


      • Great review! Raising Arizona floored me the first time I saw it. What a mind-boglingy original film.
        If you haven’t seen many Coen films, I would recommend starting with The Big Lebowski (thier funniest film), then moving on to Miller’s Crossing, before tackling The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother Where Art Thou (which are brilliant, but acquired tastes). Then it’s time for thier masterpiece, No Country for Old Men. Watch the rest in any order you like (and be prepared for the mediocrity of The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty), but save Barton Fink and A Serous Man for the very end, as they are the hardest to enjoy, and should be worked up to.


    • Yes – listen to Eric because his opinion on movies is always right on! As is mine. We’re tight like that. Except on this one…. 😉 To be fair, it was years ago that I saw it & I don’t remember it much. Oh, and I hate Kick Ass too. Um… Must be a Nicolas Cage thing with me! 🙂


      • What?!?!? You don`t like Kick Ass…but what can I say…everyone thinks Watchmen is awesome and I want to literally throw it out the window and then roll it over with my car repeatedly. But thats just me, right? Nicolas Cage has done some good stuff though but you just have to like his style, I guess


      • Watchmen is definitely not for everyone. It’s the only graphic novel (or comic book or anything like that) that I’ve ever read so I was interested in seeing the big screen adaptation. I think it was a good adaptation but I certainly wouldn’t say I loved the film…


  4. Awesome recommendation! A real “off-beat” one. Love Nicholas Cage and this movie way tops my “need to see it again soon” list. For ONE thing, “Edwina” is MY first name (I don’t use it now, but my husband calls me “Eddie”), if you can believe that. Can YOU think of another movie with an “Edwina” in it?? So I was flipping just about THAT. But my favorite bit about this film is when “Hi” narrates as the sun sets over the trailer park “We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter. ” Or something like that. I need to see this again. It’s corny, but it *does* somehow capture the yearning of when you want a kid and are told you “can’t”.

    Btw, my curiousity is peaked! I will go check out “IPC”. `Shitfest’ sounds hilarious!


    • Now thats a really sweet name. Edwina is just so special. You should this again. I’m sure I will somewhere down the road.
      Definitely check out IPC. Eric is totally awesome guy. Plus, Shitfest was a load of fun to do in the spring edition earlier this year. You could check those out! Everyone wrote crazy good posts 🙂 Have fun!


  5. Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Kick-Ass, Adaptation, Face/Off… those are probably my favorite Cage movies at the moment. I think he can usually do a good job with a role, but I wouldn’t quite put him in the same category as other great character actors (Depp, Kilmer, etc…)


      • I think Cage mostly gets a bad rap simply because he is doing every movie he can right now to make money and pay off his debt… I don’t think doing a couple bad movies negates work done on good movies, and even in the bad movies he is still far superior to a lot of other actors out there.


  6. Thanks for this, Kim. It’s now on my Must See list. Since we’re on the subject of Nicholas Cage, I’m going to give you a movie you “may” like. If you’ve seen it, tell me what you think! It’s Matchstick Men. Directed by Ridley Scott, Cage plays a phobia-ridden con artist. Seriously, it’s worth watching the movie just to see Cage with all those ticks! Anyway, you may like it! 🙂 Good story too!


    • Seems to be the verdict about the Coen Bros 🙂 I really need to catch up on that…But I have a feeling I won’t appreciate some of their movies. I’ll still give it all a chance if I ever come across any of them. Maybe I’ll be surprised, right?


  7. Pingback: Recommendations Round-up! | Tranquil Dreams

  8. Pingback: Film Review: Raising Arizona (1987) | Treating Filmophiliacs Since 2011

  9. Pingback: Film Review: Raising Arizona (1987) | We Love Movies. Hard.

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