Raising Arizona (1987)

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Released 5-Sep-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 90:15
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joel Coen

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Nicolas Cage
Holly Hunter
John Goodman
Case Six-Sided Star Clamp
RPI $36.95 Music Carter Burwell

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Huggies constantly referred to
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Raising Arizona follows a series of events that unfold as a couple kidnap a baby and try to start a new family.

    H.I. (Nicolas Cage) is an unsuccessful convenience store robber who is a habitual repeat offender. He continually meets Ed (Holly Hunter), a police photographer, during his numerous arrests and over time they form a relationship. Vowing to give up his life of crime, the couple marry and plan to start a family. When Ed finds out she is unable to have a child the marriage is placed under considerable strain and their relationship starts to fall apart. When the pair hears about the birth of a set of quintuplets to a local couple they convince themselves that the children would be better off with them and they decide to kidnap one of the babies.

    This film is unmistakably written, directed and produced by the Coen brothers (Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?) and their distinctive storytelling style is seen throughout. If you are a fan of the Coen brothers work, you should definitely enjoy this film but if you have not enjoyed their other films I do not feel that this movie will change your opinion of their work.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is acceptably sharp throughout but does seem a little soft during some scenes. During the dark scenes the shadow detail revealed a considerable amount of information and never posed a problem for the viewer. No low level noise was detected during the transfer.

    The colours displayed in the transfer were quite natural but did appear slightly muted as often seen in older smaller budget films.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    A small number of minor aliasing artefacts were seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:03, 20:37, 28:29, 61:33 and 72:54. Each of these artefacts occur for only a short period and are not distracting to the viewer.

    Various minor film artefacts may also be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:13, 3:04, 5:07, 8:44 and 12:01. As each of these artefacts are quite minor they are only slightly distracting. Some minor film grain is visible during the transfer.

    A slight telecine wobble may be seen during the closing credits but this is only very minimally distracting.

    Subtitles are provided in Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and English for the Hearing Impaired. I extensively sampled the English subtitles and found them to be consistently accurate.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    A single English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround track is provided on the disc.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected during the transfer at any stage.

    The score by Carter Burwell is quite effective and suits the on-screen action while never drawing significant attention to itself.

    The surround channels were used throughout the transfer for effects and produced a convincing soundstage. Very little low frequency information was present in the soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The non animated menus are presented at either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon your player setup.

Theatrical Trailer (2:26)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The 16x9 transfer on the local release clearly makes this the version of choice.


    Raising Arizona is an entertaining film that will be enjoyed by all fans of the Coen brothers' work.

    The video transfer is quite acceptable throughout and while never stunning it does not display any significant flaws.

    The Dolby Digital surround soundtrack is suitable for the material presented.

    The very minimal extras could have been enhanced with the inclusion of cast and crew biographies and filmographies.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
ma 15+? - REPLY POSTED
MA15+ - Dane S (Bio...were you expecting some smart alec remark?)