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Monday, June 24, 2013

Film - Raising Arizona - Starring Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter (released in 1987)

Sometimes you have movies that do not do great when they are released, but then attain the status of a cult classic over a period of time, and this ends up benefiting the DVD sales of the movie. The movie was made on a low budget of $6 million and earned $22 million, so one really cannot claim that it was a big hit at the time of release. However, it now finds mention in the list of top 100 comedy films, especially with the background that is a Coen brother film (some of their other films include Fargo, No country for old men, The Big Lebowski, etc). The brothers had made their previous film Blood Simple as a crime film, and wanted to make a different kind of film, one that was more optimistic and full of life. The movie stars Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, William Forsythe, Frances McDormand, and Randall 'Tex' Cobb.
Raising Arizona was shot in a short period of time, taking a total of 13 weeks to shoot. On release, the critical review was mixed with many reviewers liking the style of the movies, and others having the same reaction, complaining that the movie focused more on style than on substance. However, recent reviews have been more positive, and the movie has an enviable rating on the Rotten Tomatoes site. The scene depicting the bank robbery has come in for a lot of praise.

The movie takes the life of Herbert I. "Hi" McDunnough (played by Nicolas Cage) and policewoman Edwina "Ed" (played by Holly Hunter). Their meeting is very interesting, since Hi is a criminal who Ed met when he was in jail, and they continue meeting when Hi is in jail. When he gets out of jail, they decide that they want to live together and get married, and start living in a mobile home in the desert. Next, they want to have a baby, and that is where the problem starts. They discover that Ed is infertile, and they will not be able to adopt a child because of the past criminal record of Hi. So what to do ? They hear of the 5 sons of the local rich man, the furniture king Nathan Arizona and decide to kidnap one of these sons, this boy being Nathan Junior.
However, life is never so simple. They get a visit from his former prison buddies, Evelle and Gale; with their presence, there is a lot of temptation for Hi to back to doing the stuff he used to do earlier, even though he is now married. And then, his supervisor Glen (played by Sam McMurray) proposes a wife swapping, leading to Hi assaulting him. And then, in a comic caper, Hi decides to steal some diapers for the baby, and is seen by Ed, and pursued by the police and by the cashiers of the store he was stealing from. Ed does rescue him, but there is tension between them now. Things get even worse the next day. His supervisor has learned the identity of the child and wants it, and Evelle and Gale hear this and also turn on Hi, binding him and taking junior. They decide to rob a bank, and the fun starts; Ed and Hi decide to get the baby back, and so does Nathan Arizona as well as a bounty hunter who had offered to get the child back.
What happens next ? Well, you need to see the movie and enjoy for yourself.

Film - Raising Arizona - Starring Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter (released in 1987)

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