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The Vault: Raising Arizona

H.I. McDunnough is a feckless criminal who in the opening sequence is incarcerated for robbing a convenience store. There he meets Ed (Holly Hunter) a policewoman  who is currently engaged, but she clearly takes a liking to him.

Once "rehabilitated" HI is released, robs the same convenience store that he was arrested for before and is sent back to prison. This time Ed and her fiancee are having problems and HI sees this as an opportunity. After being released for the second time and then arrested for the third time for robbing the same convenience store HI proposes to her and they are married. Life is etting steadily better for the frequent convict: he's working a steady job drilling holes at the plant (a very similar scene in Drugstore Cowboys in which Bob (Matt Dillon) gives up drugs and works at a plant drilling holes into metal) and comes home to his loving wife in the evening.

With all this beauty surrounding him, Ed feels compelled to bring a baby into the world to share it with. Sadly, Ed is incapable of bearing children, but as luck would have it the Arizona family of the Unpainted Arizona furniture conglomerate  just had quintuplets and they just feel overwhelmed by all the children. HI and Ed kidnap Nathan Jr. and take him home to raise him as their own.

As with all Coen Bros. films bumbling criminals introduce themselves to the story in the forms of Gale and Evelle Snoats (John Goodman and William Forsythe) who intrude on the family and eventually figure out that Nathan Jr. is kidnapped and steal him from HI and Ed. Unbeknownst to Hi, Ed, Gale and Evelle a bounty hunter is also chasing Nathan Jr. With a myriad of Arizonans chasing after one baby, it's only a matter of time before HI ends up in prison again.

Raising Arizona was not met very favorably upon it release, but now it lives on as a cult-comedy classic. And it is a well-deserved reputation. Don't believe me? Watch below for yourself.



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