Raising Arizona


Nicolas Cage-H. I. McDonnough

Holly Hunter-Edwina “Ed” McDonnough

Trey Wilson-Nathan Arizona

John Goodman-Gale

William Forsythe-Evelle

Sam McMurray-Glen

Frances McDormand-Dot

Randall “Tex” Cobb-Leonard Smalls

Lynne Dumin Kitei-Florence Arizona

Peter Benedek-Prison Counselor

Sidney Dawsom-Moses

Richard Blake-Parole Board Chairman

Troy Nabors-Parole Board Member

Mary Seibel-Parole Board Member

Keith Jandacek-Whitey


H.I. McDonnough (Nicolas Cage) is a petty criminal who has an affinity for robbing convenience stores. He also possesses the uncanny ability of getting captured while committing these robberies. Since he never uses a loaded gun, he isn’t charged with armed robbery. This is no longer the case these days but it was when he was on his crime sprees.

During the booking procedures, he becomes acquainted with a police officer named Edwina (Holly Hunter) who is better known as Ed. Hi and Ed soon fall in love and are married. Hi vows to go straight and gets a job in a factory but problems soon start to plague the couple.

Ed desperately wants a baby but soon finds out that she’s unable to conceive. They try for adoption but are denied because of Hi’s checkered past. Then they see on the news that quintuplets were born to Florence and Nathan Arizona (Lynne Dumin Kitei and Trey Wilson). Nathan Arizona is a famous retailer of unpainted furniture with stores throughout the state. Ed thinks that five babies are too many for one couple so she decides that she and Hi will kidnap one and keep him for their own. After the deed is done, they feel like a family unit.

Meanwhile, two criminal acquaintances of Hi’s escape from prison. Gale (John Goodman) and Evelle (William Forsythe) are two brothers who make their way Ed and Hi’s trailer in a stolen station wagon. Ed forms an immediate dislike for the brothers. Hi and Ed also try to explain the presence of the baby but only make the brothers slightly suspicious when they tell their lies.

That night Hi has a dream about an outlaw biker named Leonard Smalls (Randall “Tex” Cobb) who Hi refers to as “the lone biker of the apocalypse”. He doesn’t know if it is a dream or a vision and wonders if he himself had unleashed him. The biker has hand grenades hanging from his vest and carries two sawed off shotguns.

The kidnapping has been discovered by Mrs. Arizona so the police and the FBI begin their investigation. The lone biker is also doing some investigating of his own.

Hi and Ed’s problems continue to escalate. Hi has a major run-in with his foreman, which has to do with the foreman’s comments about wife swapping, so the boss fires him. The foreman also figures out that the baby is actually the one that had been kidnapped from the Arizona’s and considers turning Hi and Ed in for the reward. He reconsiders his wife decides she wants the baby. Hi also goes back to his life of crime when they stop at a convenience store for diapers. He pulls out a gun and robs the store. The chase that ensues is a memorable part of the movie.

Gale and Evelle are planning to rob a bank and they want Hi to become part of their gang. Hi is cut out of the deal when they discover that the baby is the kidnapped child that has been on all the news reports. They take the baby for themselves. The two criminals fall in love with the child and vow to keep him forever. He even goes with them to rob the bank.

Smalls is also hot on the trail of the baby. He discovers that the bank robbery is about to happen and he heads toward the town on his Harley. The biker grabs the toddler when Gale and Evelle forget him at the scene of the robbery. Ed and Hi also show up at the scene where Ed grabs the toddler from Smalls. Evelle and Gale’s robbery is a failure when a dye canister that had been placed in the money bag explodes.

Ed and Hi, after getting rid of Smalls, decide to return the child to his rightful parents. Gale and Evelle realize that prison isn’t such a bad place after all so they sneak themselves back in.

This 1987 comedy is an excellent Coen brothers film. They’ve made two other movies that I consider to be excellent and that’s Fargo and No Country For Old Men.

Wav Sound Files (11KHz)

(click on red link to download)

Hi: “My name is H.I McDonnough. Call me Hi.” (74K)

Hi: “You tell him I said so; H.I. McDonnough. And if he wants to discuss it, he knows where to find me. In the Maricopa County Maximum Security Correctional Facility for Men, State Farm Road Number Thirty-one, Tempe Arizona. I’ll be waitin’.”  (179K)

Gale: “We don’t always smell this way, Ms. McDonnough. I was just explaining to your better half here that when we were tunneling out, we happened to hit the main sewer line. Dumb luck that. And we followed that to….”

Ed: “You mean you busted out of jail.”

Evelle: “No, mam. Ah, we released ourselves on our own recognizance.”  (181K)

Hi: “The lone biker of the apocalypse. A man with all the powers of hell at his command”  (82K)

FBI Agent #1: “Sir, we have an indication that you were born Nathan Hufheinz. Is this correct?”

Nathan Arizona: “Yah. I changed my name. What of it?”

FBI Agent #2: “Can you give us an indication why?”

Nathan Arizona: “Yah. Would you buy furniture at a store called Unpainted Hufheinz?”  (120K)

Ed: “I’m not going to live this way, Hi. It just ain’t family life.”

Hi: “Well, it ain’t Ozzie and Harriet.”  (77K)

Nathan Arizona: “Who the hell are you?”

Smalls: “Smalls. Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny but I got no friends.”  (118K)

Smalls: “If you want to find an outlaw, you call an outlaw. If you want to find a Dunkin’ Donuts, call a cop.”  (86K)

Evelle: “He just went and had hisself a little old rest stop.”

Gale: “Well, that’s natural.”  (91K)

Evelle: “Alright, I want you to count up to eight hundred and twenty-five and then back down to zero.”

Storekeeper: “Okay then.”

Evelle: “I’m gonna come back in five and check to see that you ain’t cheatin’.”  (131K)

Bank Customer: “Well, which is it young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? I mean to say, Iffen I freeze I can’t rightly drop and iffen I drop I’m gonna be in motion. You see….”

Gale: “Shut up!”

Bank Customer: “Okay then.”  (179K)


Wav Sound Effects From the Movie (11KHz)

Police car siren.  (70K)
Baby crying.  (50K)
Slap with newspaper.  (3K)
Children beating on car with clubs.  (34K)
Pebbles hitting wall.  (13K)
Face smashing into tree.  (7K)
Car passing by on wet street.  (14K)
Chair sliding on floor.  (12K)
Footsteps across floor and door opening and closing.  (65K)
Head hitting dashboard.  (5K)
Wind blowing.  (81K)
Dye pack exploding.  (81K)
Another police car siren.  (13K)
Knife thrown at board.  (11K)
Face being slapped.  (33K)




Airplane! (1980) Story of dysfunctional crew and passengers on board a Chicago bound flight.
American Graffiti (1973) One night in the lives of teenagers in 1962
Animal House (1978) A run down fraternity’s members cause chaos on campus.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Two elderly matrons poison lonely men and bury the bodies in the basement.
Cat Ballou (1966) An outlaw and her gang rob trains to try to break a town.
The Cheyenne Social Club (1970) A cowboy inherits a brothel called The Cheyenne Social Club.
Dr. Strangelove (1964) Insane base commander sends his B52 bombers into the Soviet Union.
Harvey (1950) Quiet, unassuming man has a giant rabbit for a friend.
The Mouse That Roared (1959) Smallest country in the world declares war on the U.S. and wins.
On Golden Pond (1981) Elderly couple spend a summer at their cottage on a lake.
The President’s Analyst (1967) A prominent psychoanalyst becomes the psychiatrist for the president.
Raising Arizona (1987) An ex-con and a policewoman kidnap a baby to raise as their own.
Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) A drifter on his way to Australia takes the post as sheriff of a western boom town.
Waking Ned Devine (1998) Villagers try to collect a dead man’s lottery winnings.

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