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Fargo (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 April 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 406,106 users   Metascore: 85/100
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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.


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Top 250 Movies #153 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 78 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristin Rudrüd ...
Irate Customer
Sally Wingert ...
Irate Customer's Wife
Kurt Schweickhardt ...
Car Salesman
Larissa Kokernot ...
Shep Proudfoot (as Steven Reevis)
Warren Keith ...
Steve Edelman ...
Morning Show Host
Sharon Anderson ...


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


An ordinary place, an extraordinary thriller See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Фарго  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$137,301 (USA) (19 July 1996)


£1,204,540 (UK) (19 July 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The pistol that Gaear and Carl carry is a nickel-plated SIG-Sauer P226. See more »


Marge is visibly pregnant, but in the initial crime scene, she complains of "morning sickness." Morning sickness typically occurs in the first 12-15 weeks of pregnancy, long before any woman has a visible "baby bump." However, morning sickness can last throughout an entire pregnancy. See more »


[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

A symbol similar to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince is in the credits as "victim in field", but it is not him, it is J. Todd Anderson, the storyboard artist. See more »


Referenced in The Frighteners (1996) See more »


Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree
Written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown
Larball Publishing Co., Inc./
Irwin Levine Grand Music
Recording courtesy Alshire International
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A masterpiece of Shakesperean proportions
11 November 2004 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

I've always thought Fargo would make a great Shakesperean play; you could alter the modern elements and still have created a buzz 400 years ago in suburban England. Indeed, the plot is similar to Hamlet's, in that they both have characters we root for who create zany plans than end up spinning wildly out of control into bloodshed. Many people seem to like Fargo for its humorous qualities, its characterization of the Minnesotan culture and Frances McDormand- not me. I love Fargo for its brilliant writing, its tragic musical score, its tragic plot, William H Macy, Harve Presnell and Steve Buscemi, its ignorance of political correctness (how many movies can you remember when the only two minority characters were both revealed to be creeps).I want to draw attention to an overlooked reason why the film works so well - how well the music suits the visuals in this movie. Each murder scene is scored superbly, and other audio clues really add to the effect (for instance, notice how when the police officer asks Carl Showalter "What's this?" in reference to the abductee, a disquieting guitar sound is immediately played that has an instantaneous psychological effect on how you interpret the scene). I have seen this film over, well, an embarrassing number of times and have committed its screenplay, from start to finish, by memory. Fargo is the ultimate Coen Brothers movie, a brilliant tragedy, and restores my faith in Roger Ebert as he places this movie in as his fourth favorite movie of the '90s.

281 of 399 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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is this the most over rated movie of all times? ExampleX
I don't understand the love for this movie. whaduzitmatr2
How could Marge get Gaerga into the car? burakndc190596-90-467551
I thought this was a comedy... monnyemano
But that Trucoat... orrdaniel398
I will never understand why Mike Yanagita is a character in this film. nublyk
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