Raising Arizona

1987



RAISING ARIZONA is the best photographed comedy ever filmed. It also may have the best pre-credit sequence in comedy history. I've seen it around 30 times, but I hadn't seen it on the big screen for more than ten years. What a treat. To watch with an audience, some of whom apparently had never seen it before, was great fun. I had to bite my lip to stop from saying the lines along with Ed and H.I. The photography seemed more amazing than ever; the dog-chasing-cop-chasing-cage scene through the house, and the 'my baby's gone' scene where the camera runs down a road, over a car, jumps a fountain, and climbs a ladder in a few seconds. I always thought the film lost something as soon as Tex Cobb shows up, but it too was more enjoyable with a crowd.

Shown as part of Cinequest VIII, The San Jose Film Festival. Sonnenfeld was scheduled to appear but had already headed back to L.A.

H.I. ... Nicholas Cage [Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Valley Girl, Rumble Fish, Racing With The Moon, Birdy, Peggy Sue Got Married, Moonstruck, Vampire's Kiss, Wild At Heart, Red Rock West, Honeymoon In Vegas, It Could Happen To You, Guarding Tess, Leaving Las Vegas, Kiss Of Death, The Rock, Con Air]
Ed ... Holly Hunter [Miss Firecracker, Broadcast News, The Piano, Copycat, Always]
Nathan Arizona Sr. ... Trey Wilson
Gale ... John Goodman [Revenge Of The Nerds, Always, "Roseanne"]
Evelle ... William Forsythe
Glen ... Sam McMurray
Dot ... Frances McDormand [Blood Simple, Fargo]
Leonard Smalls ... Randall 'Tex' Cobb
Nathan Junior ... T.J. Kuhn
Florence Arizona ... Lynne Dumin Kitei
Machine Shop Ear-Bender ... The Omnipresent M. Emmet Walsh
Edited by Michael R. Miller
Cinematography by Barry Sonnenfeld [Men In Black]
Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen [Blood Simple, Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo]
Directed by Joel Coen

Theater
94 minutes
Color
PG-13
USA

This Was Written on January 31, 1998

Ratings:
3.75 Ebert
8.75 Maltin
8.75 Videohound



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