The first I heard of Raising Arizona was on the radio, on the way home from a travel-league soccer game. There was a piece on it on NPR (so long ago that my now-Tea-Party-father would still listen to NPR) that featured HI’s nickel tour of the trailer.

Raising Arizona that theres the kitchen area

My favourite viewing of Raising Arizona was at the Music Box, where they thumbed their nose at the fire code to pack at least thirty more people into their small auditorium for a midnight screening. I remember that there were long stretches of the movie when you couldn’t hear the movie for all the laughter.

In an attempt to get a break from some extra-depressing shit, I popped in Raising Arizona and was shocked at a little visual flourish that I’d missed for the last 25 years. The recurrent Barry Goldwater portrait is too easy to miss.

Raising Arizona con with Goldwater picture

Raising Arizona doctor's office 2However, I’d never noticed that HI’s cellmate has a little portrait of JFK next to him in bed.

Raising Arizona con with JFK picture

This is a moment that I’m a little embarrassed about – how did I miss the red and blue in the flag given the shot’s colour palette? – but that I’ll be thrilled to include when I’m lecturing on the importance of looking to the edge of the frame, where the film fills in details of the fictional world if we’re careful enough to look.

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