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Fargo (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 April 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 405,847 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 797 user | 186 critic | 24 from

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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Title: Fargo (1996)

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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


Small town. Big crime. Dead cold. 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?


Frances McDormand wore a "pregnancy pillow" filled with birdseed to simulate her pregnant belly. She says that she didn't deliberately try to move in a "pregnant" way, it simply came as a natural response to keeping the extra weight balanced. See more »


Minnesota license plates have numbers on one side and letters on the other; they are not mixed together as shown on the car at the beginning of the movie. 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 Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013) See more »


Big City
Written by Merle Haggard and Dean Holloway
Shade Tree Music, Inc.
Performed by Merle Haggard
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

You betcha!!
13 March 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

FARGO (1996) **** Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, Peter Stormare. Dark comic undertones and excellent character actor performances dominate this richly macabre crime story gone awry flick by the Coen brothers(Joel and Ethan) involving pathetic used car salesman Macy so hard up for money and respect (not necessarily in that order) that he hires a pair of dim-witted thugs to kidnap his wife for ransom from his father-in-law's vast wealth in a plot-line that unravels with nice little twists and snags. McDormand (Best Actress) is perfect as a pregnant Midwestern sheriff on the case with a no-nonsense and homespun effect with her tactics of crime solving. Great cinematography by Roger A. Deakins accentuates the bleak winterscape of unearthed uneasiness. Nominated for Best Supporting Actor Macy, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay.

73 of 127 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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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