Raising Arizona (1987)

The Coen Brothers direct Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter and John Goodman in this madcap comedy where a cop and thief get married and steal a baby to start their family.

Featuring Nicolas Cage’s first truly out there lead turn and the Coens at their sunniest disposition. Visually the extreme framing and kid’s book illustration colouring have gone on to influence everything from Pixar to Breaking Bad. The long lasting impact on cinema and TV Raising Arizona has had is both immeasurable and not properly conceded. As a rewatch the humour runs a little dry at the one hour mark and a third of it all is voice over narration (an overindulged trope) but you are always circling one of Joel and Ethan’s fertile recurring motifs. Screaming men, unresolved red herrings, characters with a lyrical verbosity. It is a blast, always has been, always will. The editing in particular adds a spectacular energy to the relentless excess of the chase sequences. The yodelling score stays with you for weeks after. Mad Max as a rom com, Runaway Train but sweet and cuddly. Just a lotta lotta fun.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

One comment

  1. Sam Simon · June 24, 2021

    Great review, now that you made me think about it it’s one of the few movies with a lot of voice over that I thoroughly enjoy!


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