Classic of the Week: Raising Arizona (1987)


Raising Arizona is a 1987 American crime comedy film directed by Joel Coen and produced by Ethan Coen. It stars Nicolas Cage as H.I. “Hi” McDunnough, an ex-convict and Holly Hunter as Edwin “Ed” McDunnough, a former police officer and Hi’s wife.  The cast also includes Trey Wilson, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, Sam McMurray and Randall Cobb. The story follows a childless couple that kidnaps another family’s quintuplets, as their lives become more and more troubled.

This is definitely one of the Coen Brothers’ less serious films, and although, it is about a crime, it is still filled with hilarious moments. It isn’t the brothers’ best work in my opinion, but it is still a classic that never ceases to make you laugh out loud at times. Never is this film boring, it is wildly entertaining from beginning to end. With an all-star cast, this is one that can be watched over and over again without getting old.

Nicolas Cage is outstanding as H.I. “Hi” McDunnough and Holly Hunter is equally fabulous  as Edwina “Ed,” his wife. The rest of the leading cast members are great. This film is laugh until you cry funny. This isn’t necessarily a fabulous movie, but it sure hits a home run in the entertainment category. Never a dull moment. Not the best story, but, that doesn’t make this one complete garbage, it is still a very good film. 

This is truly one of the funniest and best comedy films if you’re needing some laughter. The Coen Brothers are film geniuses, whether doing comedy, drama, crime, or all the above. They know how to tell great stories, even though this isn’t their best, they always put together the best cast that are always perfect for their characters, everything they do is outstanding.

This film is not fantastic, but good. It has memorable moments, a great cast and funny lines. 13+ 3.5/5


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