A lovely image, the proud parents Hi (Nicolas Cage) and his wife Ed (Holly Hunter) with their new baby (21-minute mark). Problem is, the baby is stolen. Hi, an ex-con, and his ex-cop bride have longed for a baby to lavish their love on. But, as Hi’s ornate narration informs us, “biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless.” So they appropriated one from a rich man, Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson), whose wife has just given birth to quintuplets. That act leads to no end of trouble with Nathan, a couple of Hi’s old prison buddies (John Goodman and William Forsythe), and a tough bounty hunter (Randall “Tex” Cobb) — a demon road warrior, a warthog from hell who grenades rabbits, torches roadside flowers and has a secret tattoo of Woody Woodpecker on his left pectoral.
One of several kidnapping comedies in the Coen catalog, this is the sunniest of their films, where even the meanies have a sentimental streak. Just before robbing a store, Forsythe buys balloons for Hi’s and Ed’s purloined child. “These blow up into funny shapes?” he asks. “Not unless round is funny,” the clerk replies. In Raising Arizona, round, like everything else, is funny.
Next Miller’s Crossing