Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona (1987)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
Raising Arizona

Funny Mondays
Monday, August 12, 2024, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm  
Instructor: Paul Wright, Ph.D., Main Line Classical Academy

In the late ‘80s, the Coen Brothers were still a relatively unknown quantity. Their 1984 debut, the neo-noir  Blood Simple, had already established them as smart reinventors of a classic film genre, but 1987’s  Raising Arizona proved them genre sorcerers. A playful film trading on some very serious themes,  Raising Arizona proudly defies easy categorization. It cross-pollinates elements drawn from romantic comedies, kidnapping tales, Preston Sturges satires, criminal-redemption narratives, family dramas, and outright slapstick; yet the film is something greater than the sum of its parts, its own distinctive kind of Coen tale. 

Unable to conceive a child of their own, convenience store heist-man H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) and his new wife, police officer Edwina (Holly Hunter), embark on an ill-thought-out kidnapping scheme to secure just one baby from a wealthy family blessed with quintuplets. Riotously funny yet acutely aware of the moral complications of its well-meaning protagonists’ decisions,  Raising Arizona is a comedy of errors with a warm beating heart, not to mention a cutting satire of social class, respectability, and regional identity. Featuring supporting turns by Trey Wilson, John Goodman, and William Forsythe, the film has lost none of its absurdity, charm, or emotional resonance. 

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Monday, August 12 · 6:30 pm