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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
Reviews
Popularity
527 ( 177)

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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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:

Small town. Big crime. Dead cold. 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:

Фарго 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

Frances McDormand accidentally left her pregnancy suit in her trailer one night. The silicone breasts in the suit froze, and one of them exploded the next day on set. See more »

Goofs

From Brainerd, Norm would not be "going up" to Mille Lacs to ice fish, but rather be "going over" or "going down" since the lake is slightly to the southeast. There is no elevation change, either. 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

Polygram Filmed Entertainment sold most of its film library to MGM in 1999. As a result, when the video and DVD were re-issued by MGM video, the MGM lion logo was added to the beginning of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) 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

 
Paul Bunyan territory
31 January 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Joel Coen the director of "Fargo", proves he is one of our best directors with this tale of deception and murder told in a style that takes humorous turns in the action. "Fargo" is one of the best American films of the nineties. Joel Coen working together with his brother, Ethan, have made pictures that will be viewed as classics, as time will tell. Their movies are always an excellent way to spend some time because they always manage to deliver, even in films that aren't popular with the public.

A lot of what makes this film work is the amazing casting feat the Coen brothers achieved in giving Frances McDormand and William H. Macy, two of our best film actors, prominent presence in it. The Marge Gunderson of Ms. McDormand is one of the best creations the Coen brothers have produced. The same can be said of William H. Macy's take on the pathetic Jerry Lundergaard, the idiotic man who sets things in motion in the film. Ms. McDormand and Mr. Macy have only one scene together, yet one wouldn't even think about other actors playing these roles.

The supporting cast of "Fargo" is a joy to watch. Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare make two of the most enjoyable bad guys in memory. These two scum bags are a joke. Anyone in his right mind wouldn't entrust either Carl or Gaer for a hit job. John Carroll Lynch plays Norm, the stoic man who is married to Marge. Harve Presnell is good as Wade Gustafson.

The atmosphere created by the Coens work well. We are constantly reminded of the deep winter seasons of the area where the action takes place. They have given their characters a local flavor and even to hear them talk would take us to that region of the country.

"Fargo" is a joy to watch thanks to Joel and Ethan Coen.


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