The lack of an Oscar nomination for Roger Ebert doc Life Itself has been something of a head-scratcher, but I've figured out the reasoning behind it: How could the Academy possibly honor a man who only gave Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie ("about as close as you can get to absolute nothing and still have a product to project on the screen.") one star? It's shameful. Here are thirteen other beloved (beloved by some, at least) films that the late critic gave two thumbs way, way down.
Raising Arizona is one of the Coen Brothers most offbeat, zany comedies in their offbeat and zany comedy catalogue. The film, part satire, part otherworldly gonzo adventure, has moments of overt laughs and other moments of subtle humor. Here are 9 things about the Coens’ classic you may not have known…
1. There were fifteen babies used to represent the Arizona quintuplets in the film. Unfortunately, one of the babies had to be “fired” when he learned to walk.
2. H.I.’s work uniform logo shows he works for Hudsucker Industries. Hudsucker Industries would be the company in the Coen Brother’s HBO movie The Hudsucker Proxy seven years after this film was released.
3. Speaking to the subtle humor in the film that may go unnoticed, the lullaby that Ed sings to Nathan, Jr. is the song “Down in the Willow Garden”, a folk song about a man sentenced to death after brutally murdering his fiancee.
4. During the chase scene through the grocery store, the movie’s theme can be heard playing on the store’s music system.
5. The news article H.I. reads early in the film about the Arizona Quints contains the following text: “Their father is unpainted furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona, who is reportedly pondering a run for Congress in the 4th district. Pete Peterson, Republican incumbent in the 4th, dismissed the birth of the quints as ‘a cheap publicity stunt’ in a news conference Thursday. He characterized Nathan Arizona as an ‘unprincipled media hog and a loud hectoring nitwit’, but conceded that ‘Trey Wilson’, the actor portraying him, as a ‘very nice fellow with a distasteful job to do.'”
6. Kevin Costner turned down the role of H.I. McDunnough, which went to Nicolas Cage. Thankfully.
7. Nathan, Jr. the baby doesn’t cry at all throughout the entire movie, but all the other main characters do at some point.
8. The opening credits are not shown until 13 minutes into the movie and when they are shown, they only mention cast members.
9. Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb was not familiar with riding motorcycles prior to filming. While shooting the scene where he rides up to inspect the hole where Evelle and Gale had escaped from prison, he actually crashed into the hole on one of the takes.