Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Raising Arizona" 1987

"Raising Arizona"

This is one of those movies that you either love or hate.  There isn't a lot of middle ground.  I am in the love it catergory.  My husband is in the hate it.  If I want to watch it, I watch it alone. 

I tried to get my son to watch it once.  He made it to the scene where Nicolas Cage's friends break out of prison.  They dig their way out of the mud and break the surface screaming.  This was too much for the boy and he abandoned me to watch it by myself.

I still love this movie even if I have to watch it alone. 

It starts with the love story of H.I. and Ed.  It is a star crossed romance with H.I. seeing Ed whenever he gets arrested.  She is the police officer in charge of taking mug shots.  They bond over the years until one day H.I. walks in when he hasn't been arrested and asks to marry her. 

H.I.: What kind of name is Ed for a pretty thing like you?
Ed McDonnough: Short for Edwina. Turn to the right.
H.I.: You're a flower, you are. Just a little desert flower.

The are happy living in their little plot of land.  They decide that all that love and happiness just needs a baby to share it. 

H.I.: We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.
They soon discover that a natural child isn't in the cards for them and H.I.'s criminal past takes away their chances of adopting.

H.I.: Biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless.

Man, I am only a half hour in and I might as well just copy the screenplay.  It is highly quotable.  

When all things look dire, Ed and H.I. decide to take drastic measures.   A local owner of a furniture store hit the fertility lottery and had quintuplets.  When they joke that they have more than they can handle, they take it as a sign. Soon H.I. is crawling through a window and picking out the best toddler he can find. 

They aren't very good at keeping the story straight and there are suspicians from all sides.  First from H.I.'s old prison buddies.

Gale: Why ain't you breast-feeding? You appear to be capable.
Ed McDonnough: Mind your own bid'ness.
Evelle: Ma'am, you don't breast-feed him, he'll hate you for it later. That's why we wound up in prison.
Gale: Anyway, that's what Doc Schwartz tells us.

Then by their "decent" friends.

Dot: [GASPS after seeing Nathan Jr] What's his name?
Ed McDonnough: Uh... Hi... Hi Junior, till we think of a better one.
Dot: Why don't ya call him Jason? l just love biblical names. If I had another little boy, I'd name him Jason, Caleb or Tab.
[GASPS; covers her face with her hands and looks through her fingers]
Dot: He's an angel! He's an angel straight from heaven! Now honey, I had all my kids the hard way. Tell me how you got this little angel. Did he fly straight down from heaven?
Ed McDonnough: Well...
Dot: You're gonna send him to Arizona State.

The baby goes on quite and adventure as the prison buddies figure out what happened take him for ransom, only to have him stolen from them by a bounty hunter. 

It culminates with a huge battle.  It should teach everyone not to wear live grenades. 

Finally the guilt is too much and Ed and H.I. take the baby back to his family.  When the father finds them in the baby's room. 

H.I.: I think the wife and me are splitting up. Her point is that we're both kind of selfish and unrealistic, so we're not really good for each other.
Nathan Arizona Sr.: Well, ma'am, I don't know much, but I do know human beings. You brought back my boy, so you must have your good points, too. I sure hate to think of Florence leaving me. I do love her so. You can go out the way you came in. Oh, and before you do another foolish thing like busting up, I suggest you sleep on it. At least for one night.

So they spend the night together.  H.I. has a dream with a happy future.

It is a sweet movie.  And it has produced a lot of Oscar winners. 

So, if you love, let me know.  If you hate it, I'm sorry. 

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