Skip to main content

RAISING ARIZONA

USA, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Joel Coen

Raising Arizona, the second feature from the Coen brothers, has some of the twisted humour of their debut feature, Blood Simple, though conducted at a more leisurely pace.

HI, a petty crook, marries Edwina, the police officer who has been checking him regularly into jail. When they find they cannot have children, they decide to steal one - from furniture magnate Nathan Arizona and his wife, who have just been blessed with well-publicised quintuplets. As they embrace family life, they encounter some strange variations on the family unit: these include Hi's escapee cellmates; a neighbourhood couple who are keen to start wifeswapping; the Arizonas themselves; and the mad motorcyclist of the apocalypse, Leonard Smalls, sworn enemy of all families. Variety singled out John Goodman (Louis in True Stones) for his performance as one of the prison escapees, calling him "a rarity on the screen, an actor who can communicate friendliness and goodwill in spite of his foolishness".

See also...

BLOOD SIMPLE

Marty, a brooding Texas bar owner, is estranged from his younger wife. She leaves him for a bartender. Marty hires a sleazy, onerous hit man to kill his wife, and her lover. . . ... This mid-West ... More »

HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER

... ... It will be a pity if Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer comes to be known for the controversy it has sparked rather than its qualities as a piece of filmmaking. As Caryn James in The New York ... More »

Video Album 3

George Kuchar, renowned avant-garde filmmaker based in California creates a day-in-the-hfe style of video documentary (the third in the series). ... More »

DESERT BLOOM

Set in Las Vegas in 1950 where an A-Bomb test is planned. Jack, a World War Two veteran, runs a gas station with his wife Lily and his three stepdaughters. The family is visited by Lily's sister ... More »

Czechs and Balances

Czechs and Balances is the story of a down and out Japanese woodworker living in New York City. In desperation he resorts to purse snatching. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director