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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.


, (uncredited)


77 ( 184)
Top Rated Movies #160 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 79 wins & 59 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristin Rudrüd ...
Sally Wingert ...
Irate Customer's Wife
Kurt Schweickhardt ...
Car Salesman
Larissa Kokernot ...
Hooker #2
Shep Proudfoot (as Steven Reevis)
Steve Edelman ...
Morning Show Host
Sharon Anderson ...
Morning Show Hostess


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


A homespun murder story. 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 USA:

$730,265, 10 March 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


There's only one scene shot on a bright and sunny day. Cinematographer Roger Deakins hated that it was sunny, feeling that it went against the movie's mood. See more »


A jar in the kidnappers' shack has a 1990s "Nutrition Facts" label. 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.
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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 »


Spoofed in Animaniacs: Hooray for North Hollywood: Part 2 (1998) See more »


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

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User Reviews

13 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

The Coen brothers' 'Fargo' is nearly a great film: a beautifully shot, blackly comic thriller that quietly subverts every convention of the genre. This is a film where the remote mid-western city of Minneapolis plays the same role as New York in a normal crime story, a hub of civilisation and vice; where the hero is a woman (and a heavily pregnant, happily married woman at that); and the chief villain a car salesman of absolutely no slickness whatsoever. In a final irony, most of the action doesn't even take place in Fargo, but in the even more obscure town of Brainerd. Yet I found it hard to love this film. At brief moments (in depicting the relationship of policewoman Marge, played superbly by Frances McDormaid, and her husband), it feels astonishingly tender, yet at others, it feels as if it is simply making fun of the strange folks from outer America with the wacky accents and absurdly stoical demeanour. And the combination of deadpan acting and frankly silly plot excess sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Above all else, perhaps, 'Fargo' lacks a beating heart: while nearly moving, and nearly funny, there's a part of this film that refuses to commit itself, that prefers to hold back and mock not just its subjects, but also the idea that a film should take itself seriously. The Coens are widely celebrated as among the best film-makers of our age, but watching their films, I usually end up wondering whether irony is not a slightly over-rated virtue. Fargo looks lovely, and weird, and has a wry outlook all of it's own; but it won't make you laugh out loud, or cry. If it wasn't called a masterpiece I might almost like it.

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