“Raising Arizona,” the dark comedy about a petty criminal who steals a baby to make his family complete, may be full of beautiful Arizona vistas and sunsets. But the depiction of locals “as a bunch of rednecks and hayseeds” has Arizonans in a dither, writes Arizona Republic reporter Gail Tabor.
A biker who shoots lizards and blows up bunnies with hand grenades is one example that she cites. Also, the lead couple (Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter) leave their baby in the middle of the highway--twice.
“There was no redeeming social value to it,” complained Mayor Herb Drinkwater of Scottsdale, where the pic had its Southwestern premiere. “How do people even think to write something like this?” And: “It certainly isn’t the image Arizona wants to project.”
Co-producer Mark Silverman told Tabor: “It pokes gentle fun at humankind and our foibles. It wasn’t the intent to ridicule Arizonans.”