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Raising Arizona (1987)

Nicolas Cage , Holly Hunter , Joel Coen  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)

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Raising Arizona + The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Collector's Edition) + O Brother, Where Art Thou?
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Frances McDormand
  • Directors: Joel Coen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • DVD Release Date: August 20, 2002
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LPGP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,640 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Vowing to go straight, a convenience store banditt (Nicolas Cage) proposes marriage to the police departments photographer (Holly Hunter). All is wedded bliss until they discover she's unable to get pregnant and are turned down by every adoption agency in town. It does not take long before they realize the only solution is to kidnap one of the town's celebrated quintuplets and hit the road!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Meets the Eye November 30, 1998
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is much more than an outrageous and unique comedy. One reason for its cult following has been consistently missed by the critics: repeated viewings reveal surprising layers of meaning and an intricate web of symbolism.
At the heart of this film is the timeless debate known as "nature vs. nurture": are we more a product of our genes, or of our environment? How much of an effect does our upbringing have on our likelihood to turn out as either a law-abiding member of society (a society which in this movie is of dubious merit, as represented by Hi's job and his unctuous boss) or as a criminal deviant from its norms?
The symbolism in this film is rich and evocative--while always contributing to the comedy. Note how often the adult characters cry and carry on like infants. Note the way the escaped convicts are "born" into the outside world. Note the marriage of a convict and a police officer, and the difference in their families visible in the brief wedding shot. Note the juxtaposition of milk poured over cereal with the infant's feeding bottle, as Evelle observes, "Ya don't breast feed him, he'll hate you for it later. That's why we wound up in prison." And note the frequent use of phrases such as "that's natural," as opposed to "you're not being true to your nature" or "mother didn't love me." As Hi observes, "maybe it's my upbringing, maybe it's just that my genes got screwed up, I don't know."
The quasi-biblical, poetical and aphorism-laden language the characters use in the-state-adjacent-to-Utah is both touching and funny. Every word of the film is a finely polished gem. Ed's little plan is "the solution to all our problems, and the answer to all our prayers.
Read more ›
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the funniest movie ever made June 5, 2000
By A Customer
I've seen Raising Arizona far more times than I can count. It is, in my humble opinion, next to Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove the most original, inventive comedy ever made.
The dialogue is absolutely razor-sharp -- plenty of examples are certainly readily available in the reviews preceding this one -- and the camera work is wonderful, as well. I'd rank Raising Arizona a VERY close second to Miller's Crossing in a list of the Coen's best films. It is admittedly not as visually stylish as Miller's Crossing (then again, very few films ever made are), and the storyline is not as cohesive as Miller's Crossing, Fargo, or Barton Fink. However, the film is so full of verbal gems that it definitely ranks as the Coen's best dialogue writing effort. Cage and Hunter are wonderful, and John Goodman and William Forsythe are absolutely perfect as the Snopes brothers.
Admittedly, the DVD is nothing very special. All you really get is the more durable medium and a widescreen format. Some kind of "The Making of..." mini-documentary, or better yet, a commentary option with two or three of the actors, the director of photography, or ideally the Coens themselves would have been a priceless addition to the DVD.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising cinema geniuses. August 27, 2002
By A Customer
The one that started it all. *Raising Arizona* is the first of a string of masterpieces continuing all the way up to *O Brother, Where Art Thou?* (*The Man Who Wasn't There* has fallen short of the adjective "masterpiece", in my view.) Joel & Ethan Coen, America's very best filmmakers, sloughed off the apprentice mentality so evident in *Blood Simple* and went for broke in this film, relying on their own creativity to bring their sensibilities to the movie-going world. In this particular case, the sensibility is often akin to the classic Warner Bros. cartoons with Bugs Bunny and friends. This is most evident in the movie's style, with its exaggerated perception, off-kilter compositions, speeding Steadicam, comical close-ups, over-the-top action, and sparkling-clean, eye-watering Pop color. (The DP on this film was Barry Sonnenfeld, who has gone on to direct some very bad films. This movie remains his career-high.) *Raising Arizona* is CINEMATIC filmmaking: the Coens successfully found the fine line between static presentation and overwrought, music-video-style camera intrusion, and they've walked that line ever since. The visuals are one thing. But the Coens also invest their plot and characters with the Warner cartoons' sensibility -- or lack thereof. Chaos, daffiness, and limitlessness reign supreme here, as in the old Warner shorts. The narration is exquisitely faux-literary, by way of redneck hominess: Nicolas Cage lays on the syrup over lines like "The doctor explained that her insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase. Read more ›
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I first saw this movie on a date, and my date didn't like it...and not coincidentally, there was no second date! Now I'm married, and fortunately for him, my husband loves the movie (or at least he claims he does). Our entire family loves this movie, which is infinitely quotable--we can come up with quotes from it that suit a wide variety of situations. As my mom says (who typically thinks it's a waste of time to see a movie more than once), it is the kind of movie that just gets funnier with repeat viewings. It is absolutely hilarious, though as other reviewers have pointed out, you either love it or hate it...."Maybe it was Utah." Check it out, and who knows? Before long, you'll be quoting away!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS
Seriously one of the funniest movies ever!!
Published 3 days ago by Love2Shop
5.0 out of 5 stars ... need to see if you wish to retain a good impression of him
This is the only Nicholas Cage movie you ever need to see if you wish to retain a good impression of him.
Published 5 days ago by Steevy Weevy
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not so good...
Published 11 days ago by Nature girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Arizona is a *five Star* Cult Classic
This movie has become a *cult Classic* and as such deserves *5* stars. When the movie first
came out it was soon recognized as a *Cult Classic* just like the *Rocky Horror... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quintessential Coen Brothers
Published 18 days ago by Urian A. Diaz Franco
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers Fun
We love Raising Arizona, it delivers laughs every time we watch.
Published 21 days ago by Jessica Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as hilarious as I remembered!
My favorite movie of all time! My grandkids had never seen it though, so I HAD to buy it!
Published 23 days ago by Desert Gal
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coen brothers made a comic masterpiece.
This is in my top 3 movies that just makes me bust a gut every time I watch it. It has the best "chase scene" I've ever seen in a movie. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Phoenix
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic. What else can I say. If you ...
Classic. What else can I say. If you haven't seen the movie, you're missing out.
Published 26 days ago by agb123
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Ellen Fontana
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Topic From this Discussion
Better Version Raising Arizona DVD
yeah, where is the "special collector's edition" of "raising arizona?" 2007 will be the 20th anniversary of the film's release, and i have been hoping for a better quality dvd with some extras and commentary. does anyone know of any plans for this? i think it's the coen...
Oct 11, 2006 by David E. Hoey Jr. |  See all 3 posts
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