RAISING ARIZONA
1987, 20th Century Fox, 94 min, USA, Dir: Joel Coen

This staggeringly hilarious chronicle of the romance between inept bad boy Nicolas Cage and straight-arrow cop Holly Hunter was an unexpected follow up to the Coen brothers’ chilling BLOOD SIMPLE. The kidnap scheme that follows when the loving couple learn they can’t conceive kids is guaranteed to provoke more laughs per minute than any American comedy since the heyday of 1930s screwball cinema. With John Goodman and William Forsythe.


THE BIG LEBOWSKI
1998, Universal, 117 min, USA, Dir: Joel Coen

“What do you do for recreation?” “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.” The Dude (a perfectly cast Jeff Bridges) decides to seek satisfaction when he’s mistaken for an uptight multimillionaire with the same name, Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston). Enlisting the help of his best bowling buddies, short-fuse ’Nam vet Walter (a brilliantly misguided John Goodman) and wimpy Donny (Steve Buscemi), the Dude is determined to get to the bottom of the confusion of identities. With an excellent and appropriately bizarre supporting cast, including a seductive, swing-riding Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski, John Turturro as bowling rival and pederast “The Jesus,” and Tara Reid as millionaire Lebowski’s bored, pedicured trophy wife.


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