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Fargo (1996)

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Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
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Popularity
608 ( 47)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

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Top Rated Movies #166 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 81 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William H. Macy ... Jerry Lundegaard
Steve Buscemi ... Carl Showalter
Peter Stormare ... Gaear Grimsrud
Kristin Rudrüd Kristin Rudrüd ... Jean Lundegaard
Harve Presnell ... Wade Gustafson
Tony Denman ... Scotty Lundegaard
Gary Houston ... Irate Customer
Sally Wingert Sally Wingert ... Irate Customer's Wife
Kurt Schweickhardt Kurt Schweickhardt ... Car Salesman
Larissa Kokernot Larissa Kokernot ... Hooker #1
Melissa Peterman ... Hooker #2
Steve Reevis ... Shep Proudfoot (as Steven Reevis)
Warren Keith ... Reilly Diefenbach (voice)
Steve Edelman Steve Edelman ... Morning Show Host
Sharon Anderson Sharon Anderson ... Morning Show Hostess
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Storyline

Jerry works in his father-in-law's car dealership and has gotten himself in financial problems. He tries various schemes to come up with money needed for a reason that is never really explained. It has to be assumed that his huge embezzlement of money from the dealership is about to be discovered by father-in-law. When all else falls through, plans he set in motion earlier for two men to kidnap his wife for ransom to be paid by her wealthy father (who doesn't seem to have the time of day for son-in-law). From the moment of the kidnapping, things go wrong and what was supposed to be a non-violent affair turns bloody with more blood added by the minute. Jerry is upset at the bloodshed, which turns loose a pregnant sheriff from Brainerd, MN who is tenacious in attempting to solve the three murders in her jurisdiction. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A homespun murder story. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fargo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$730,265, 10 March 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,611,975

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene with a police officer interviewing a bartender about his report of a funny-looking guy out at Moose Lake, they are both wearing heavy parkas with hoods pulled up concealing their faces. In reality, if it was warm enough to have snow melt running down the street, residents would maybe have on a ball cap with their jackets open. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry, Wade, and Stan are standing outside of the Embers, you can see I-394 over their shoulders. An overhead sign shows an HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle, or carpool) lane. Minnesota introduced HOV lanes in 1991. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Lundegaard: I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard.
Carl Showalter: You're Jerry Lundegaard?
Jerry Lundegaard: Ya. Shep Proudfoot said...
Carl Showalter: Shep said you'd be here at 7:30. What gives, man?
Jerry Lundegaard: Shep said 8:30.
Carl Showalter: We've been sitting here an hour. He's
[motioning to Gaer]
Carl Showalter: peed three times already.
Jerry Lundegaard: I'm sure sorry. Shep told me 8:30. It was a mix-up, I guess.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The original editing credit for this film was "Roderick Jaynes," a fictitious creation of the Coen Brothers, who edit all their own films with only occasional assistance. Jaynes actually received an Academy Award nomination for his work on this film, but did not win. See more »

Alternate Versions

Television edits of the film consistently replace the word "f*cking" with "froozing." Also, in the scene where Carl shoots Wade, the audio is inexplicably edited so that we don't hear Wade say, "Oh, jeez." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Graham Norton Show: Episode #8.6 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Feels So Good
Written and performed by Chuck Mangione
© 1977 Gates Music Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thank's a bunch for this one
12 November 2005 | by StibbertSee all my reviews

Fargo is a great piece of movie. It has a strong story and a strong cast. It's down to earth and believable.

Jerry Lundegaard is in some trouble. He hires two small time crocks from Fargo to kidnap his wife. The plan is for her father to pay off and for Jerry to take the money. Things don't exactly goes as planned as they kill three people and get a pregnant Chief on their tail.

The Coen brothers have does a terrific job on this movie. It's a well written, original story with an original setting and it doesn't try to be anything it isn't. Just a few characters, a simple plot and small scale. They stay away of clichés and don't even remotely try to mix in anything of that regular Hollywood crap. They manage to capture the mood, the people and the action pretty good. The characters are great, they're reasonable and believable. They manage to keep it serious, but not too serious and put inn a joke here and there.

The actors are great. They way they manage to put on a happy smile and make it seem polite and a little, but not all too false in a great way. William H. Macy is great as Jerry Lundegaard. He gives a little nervous, kind of boy scout performance and it fits perfect. Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare makes two great small time losers. Buscemi is great as a small, funny looking, constant talking bad guy and Stormare fits the big silent, violent, psychopath type really good and they act these characters all the way out. Kristin Rudrüd does a good job as Jean Lundegaard and Harve Presnell as the rich dad is always a winner.

The cinematography is good. All of the shots are good looking and some of them are original, cool and extra good looking. All of the shots are well composed, the lightning is good, but not much out of the ordinary. There are a nice play with the colors in some shots involving the snow.

The score is really nice. The theme is a little sad and so is the movie. It's moody and supports the action and fits the settings very well. It's used in a classical way between the action and that works very well, it makes the action seem more real and more close.

Fargo is a original movie out of the ordinary. The story is good, well written and it's well brought to life and captured. The Coen brothers has made a timeless and very enjoyable movie. See it!


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