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Fargo (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 April 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 416,280 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 798 user | 186 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

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 Rated Movies #154 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 69 wins & 51 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 »


The kidnapper's Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is a 1987 or 1988 (with a straight flat rear window) in some shots, and a 1989 or 1990 (with a restyled back end and a rounded rear window) in others. 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 Best of Film Noir (1999) 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

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User Reviews

One of Those Rare Gems in the Cinema
25 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With all the sorry films these days it is good to see a movie as funny, wicked, dramatic, and utterly demented as "Fargo". It's one of those films that you just have to see. William H. Macy gives an Oscar-nominated performance as a car salesman who hires two thugs (one a know-it-all-know-nothing and the other a demented psychopath) to kidnap his wife so that he can keep half the ransom from her well-off father. Needless to say nothing goes right and Brainerd sheriff Frances McDormand (in an Oscar-winning role) comes in to save the day. I won't give anything away because the material is too good to tell those who haven't seen this inventive film. "Fargo" was ranked on the 100 Greatest Films list in 1996 and it was well-deserved. In this age of by-the-numbers film making, this film was a refreshing flashback to the risk-taking style that made the 1970s such a great decade for movies. 5 stars out of 5.

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