TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #18 Raising Arizona

February 20, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Title: Raising Arizona
Year: 1987
Genre: Comedy
Main Actors: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman
Ranked: Governor Gray Davis #6, Chip Wesley #9

Criminal H. I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage), you can call him Hi, marries Tempe cop Ed (Holly Hunter), short for Edwina and they want a baby. One problem - she's barren, as explained by a gynecologist holding a cigar. Solution: steal one of the "Arizona Quints" recently fathered by unpainted furniture mogul Nathan Arizona. To complicate matters, Hi's buddies from the joint, Gale and Evelle Snoats bust out of jail and shack up with the new family. Hilarity ensues as they try to keep the baby out of the hands of The Lone Biker of the Apocalypse.

Reasons This Movie Kicks Ass
This was my introduction to the brilliance of the Coen Brothers and the underrated acting of Nicolas Cage. The rest is history. Beyond that, it features a lot of timely screaming and takes place in an almost mythical Arizona where everyone talks with a southern accent and fires guns wildly into the night.

Monster Role
Raising Arizona more or less launched John Goodman's comedy career and we're all thankful for it. Without his slovenly, loud mouthed Gale Snoats, we never would have had Walter Sobchak or even that poor bastard who was married to Roseanne all those years.

Knock Your Dick in the Dirt Moment
I can't decide, so I give you two. First, about halfway through the film, your dick will go in the dirt because of the chase scene that comes after Hi attempts to steal some Huggies for the baby.

Secondly, after Gale and Evelle accidentally leave the baby at the convenience store, they realize it and scream all the way back to the shop. Basically, this is a solid minute of John Goodman and William Forsythe screaming at the top of their lungs and punching the dashboard of their stolen car. I've been watching this movie repeatedly for 20 years now and this still got a chuckle out of me.

Watch This Movie if You Like
The Coen Brothers, grown men screaming, kidnapping or Barry Goldwater