For the Coen brother’s second full-length film, they had one goal in mind: make it different from Blood Simple. Writing the script in 3 1/2 months, they completed production inside of ten weeks, and despite a turbulent relationship with star Nicolas Cage (the Coen brothers are famous for ignoring the suggestions of others), in 1987 the quirky, comedic caper film was released to wildly positive reviews, parlaying those notices firmly into cult status.
Basing the script on the works of famous southern authors like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, Raising Arizona has a keenly specific dialect that lends itself to endless quotability and establishes the quirk that the Coens have become known for. While it’d be impossible to cover all those lines without posting the entire script, here are some of the best.
Ready? Okay, then.
“Now, y’all without sin can cast the first stone.” – H.I.
This is the moment of insight that, after the film’s considerable opening sequence, leads H.I. and Ed to the idea of kidnapping one of the five “Arizona Quints.” While he admits in retrospect that it wasn’t his best idea, he’s quick to remind everyone the pitfalls of judgment.