Raising Arizona

1987 film by the Coen Brothers

Raising Arizona is a 1987 film written, produced, and directed by the Coen Brothers. The film has developed a small cult following and is a favorite among fans of the Coen brother's films mainly because it speaks to the human condition, the semi-uncontrollable desire to have children and the hilarity that ensues.

H.I. McDunnough

  • Prison life is more structured than most men care for.
  • I tried to stand up and fly straight, but it wasn't easy with that sumbitch Reagan in the White House. I don't know. They say he's a decent man, so maybe his advisors are confused.
  • At first I didn't believe it — that this woman, who looked as fertile as the Tennessee Valley, could not bear children. But the doctor explained that her insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase.
  • There's what's right, and there's what's right, and never the twain shall meet.
  • Nathan needs some Huggies, I'll be out directly. Mind you stay strapped in.
  • Now, y'all who're without sin can cast the first stone.
  • I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash you got.
  • That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether, a floating spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life wrestled their way into my slumber. I dreamt that Gale and Evelle had decided to return to prison. Probably that's just as well. I don't mean to sound superior, and they're a swell couple of guys, but maybe they weren't ready yet to come out into the world. And then I dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas morn in the Arizona home where Nathan Junior was opening a present from a kindly couple who preferred to remain unknown. I saw Glen a few years later, still having no luck getting the cops to listen to his wild tales about me and Ed. Maybe he threw in one Polack joke too many. I don't know. And still I dreamed on, further into the future than I'd ever dreamed before, watching Nathan Junior's progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments, as if he were our own, wondering if he ever thought of us, and hoping that maybe we'd broadened his horizons a little, even if he couldn't remember just how they got broadened. But still I hadn't dreamt nothin' about me and Ed, until the end. And this was cloudier, 'cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple being visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple wasn't screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don't know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I'm liable to do? But me and Ed, we can be good, too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us, and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don't know. Maybe it was Utah.

Edwina 'Ed' McDunnough

  • Give me that baby, you warthog from hell!

Gale Snoats

  • We didn't escape, we released ourselves on our own recognizance.
  • H.I., you're young and you got your health. What you want with a job?

Nathan Arizona Sr.

  • Well, this is nothing but a goddamn shakedown and a screwjob, any way you look at it!
  • And if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass a-hoppin'.
  • I don't know what his damn jammies looked like... they had Yodas and shit on them.
  • Nobody sleeps naked in this house boy!
  • 800 leaf tables and no chairs. You can't sell leaf tables and no chairs. Chairs you got a dinette set, no chairs you got dick! I ask my wife she got more sense.
  • Are you boys gonna chase down your leads or are you gonna sit around drinking coffee in the one house in the state where I know my boy ain't at?
  • Everyone leaves microbes and whatnot. Hell, that’s your forte ain’t it, tracking down them microbes left by criminals and commies n’ shit. That's your whole God-damn raison d'etre, ain't it?


  • I said, "Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?" Said they got two Koreans and a negra born with his heart on the outside. It's a crazy world.
  • Say, did you hear about the person of the Polish persuasion who walked into a bar with a big 'ol pile of shit in his hands and he says, "Look what I almost stepped in"?


  • Payroll Cashier: Government do take a bite, don't she?
  • Leonard Smalls: You want to find an outlaw, hire an outlaw. You want to find a Dunkin' Donuts, call a cop.
  • Feisty Hayseed: Well, which is it young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? I mean to say, if'n I freeze I can't rightly drop, and if'n I drop I'm a gonna be in motion.
  • Hayseed in Pickup: Son, you got a panty on your head.
  • Dot: Riley!. ... You take that diaper off your head! You put it back onto your sister!
  • Dot: You gotta get 'em diptet boosters yearly or else they'll develop lockjaw and night vision.
  • Dot: That there's for his orthodonture and his university. You soak his thumb in iodine and you might get by without the orthodonture, but it won't knock a thing off the university.
Moses: And when they was no meat we ate fowl, and when they was no fowl we ate crawdad, and when they was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand.


FBI Investigator: Is it true your name was originally Nathan Huffheinz?
Nathan: Yeah, what of it?
FBI Investigator: Why did you change it?
Nathan: Would you buy furniture from a place called "Unpainted Huffheinz"?

Doctor: Why do you say you feel trapped in a man's body?
Convict: Well, sometimes I get them menstrual cramps real hard.

H.I. McDunnough: I'll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got.
Edwina 'Ed' McDunnough: That sum'bitch. That son of a bitch! You son of a bitch!
H.I. McDunnough: And make it quick, I'm in dutch with the wife.

Nathan: Who the hell are you?
Leonard: Smalls. Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny, but I got no friends.
Nathan: Stop. You're gonna make me bust out crying.

Evelle: Balloons. Hey. These blow up into funny shapes at all?
Cashier: Well naw, unless round is funny.


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