I'm a big fan of the Coen brothers' films, but for some obscure reason, I'd never watched Raising Arizona — one of their earliest films. We watched it at the weekend, having taped it earlier in the week, and I don't think that I've laughed so much in ages. It's certainly not as sophisticated as some of their later comedies, but for sheer knock-about humour, it really works. The sequence where H.I. is being chased around the neighbourhood by the police, some dogs and his wife — after he has held up a convenience store for some nappies — is a classic. For some reason, the conversation between one of the other convicts and an elderly shop keeper about balloons also killed me:
EVELLE: Uh-huh . . . Â He takes a plastic-covered squirt gun off a display rack and drops it on the counter. He is looking around at the other impulse purchases displayed by the register; he unhooks a bag of balloons. . . .These blow up into funny shapes at all? Â GALE is trotting by in the opposite direction: "Weeeeee!" CASHIER: Well no. Unless round is funny. EVELLE is pulling a gun out of his belt. EVELLE: All right, I'll take these too. Now you lie down back there-
I don't think that it could ever replace The Big Liebowski in my affections as favourite comedy of all time ("the Dude abides, man. The Dude abides..."), but it was a lot of fun.