Nicolas Cage-H. I. McDonnough
Holly Hunter-Edwina “Ed” McDonnough
Trey Wilson-Nathan Arizona
Randall “Tex” Cobb-Leonard Smalls
Lynne Dumin Kitei-Florence Arizona
Peter Benedek-Prison Counselor
Richard Blake-Parole Board Chairman
Troy Nabors-Parole Board Member
Mary Seibel-Parole Board Member
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.
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CLICK ON MOVIE BELOW FOR A COMEDY MOVIE REVIEW FROM TIGER SWEAT
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