Raising Arizona

dir. Joel Coen

Raising Arizona

dir. Joel Coen

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Nicolas Cage gives one of his signature performances as the affable, loquacious, philosophical ex-con Herbert I. "Hi" McDunnough, who gets embroiled in a wild baby-kidnapping plot along with his ex-cop wife (Holly Hunter) in Joel and Ethan Coen’s cracked comedy.

Incorrigible recidivist Herbert I. "Hi" McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) strikes up a relationship with policewoman Edwina (Holly Hunter) during successive mug-shot sessions, and after his latest release the two get married and settle down to start a family. However, when Ed discovers that she's infertile and Hi's criminal record renders them ineligible to adopt, Hi hits on a perfect solution: he kidnaps one of the newborn quintuplets of a local furniture magnate, figuring that the proud papa has plenty of progeny to go round. But the McDunnoughs' rosy visions of domestic bliss are soon shattered by the arrival of two of Hi's prison buddies (John Goodman and William Forsythe) and a fearsome, hog-riding bounty hunter (Randall "Tex" Cobb), the ogre of this bizarre Southern fairyland. An unexpected follow-up to their debut, the pitch-black noir redux Blood Simple, the Coens' cracked comedy established the brothers' unique comic sensibility and inaugurated their parade of off-kilter folk heroes in the form of Cage's affable, loquacious, philosophical Hi ("There's what's right and there's what's right and never the twain shall meet").