8.1/10
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Fargo (1996)

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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, (uncredited)

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Top Rated Movies #162 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 79 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Фарго  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$24,611,975 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The duck paintings briefly shown in the Gunderson home were painted by "those Hautmanns," who are close friends of the Coen brothers. These three brothers frequently win federal and state wildlife stamp competitions. See more »

Goofs

During the ransom transaction scene between Carl and Wade, the camera shots alternate between snow falling and no snow falling. 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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Clay Pigeons (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
An overrated film, but a good one none-the-less.
24 January 2004 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

FARGO (1996)

THE GOOD:

--I loved the music in the film. It brought across that small town murder feeling really well, and had a kind of Celtic value to it.

--I saw "Fargo" as being a good comedy, as well as a story about how money corrupts good people. As the movie goes along, the characters get into deeper and deeper crap, and why? For a little bit of money, as Marge says near the end of the film. There are some shocking deaths along the course of the storyline, all which have an effect on the audience, as each time someone is shot down it seems like the characters are finding it easier and easier, a convenience to get out of something they don't want to do.

--Joel Coen, director, gives the film real character, and sets up some pretty neat camera shots too. My favourite one was when it appeared we were looking at some kind of playground or car park, and then a figure wanders in, the only moving thing in the frame. I loved this shot because it was just so damn clever, and very well set up. It was kind of like an optical illusion. There were a number of other good camera shots and cinematography techniques, often very simple yet very effective.

--Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her role as Margie in this movie, and I think it was very well deserved. She was pretty funny in parts, as well as bringing a likeability and sympathetic value to her character (I still think Emily Watson deserved the Oscar for her phenomenal performance in "Breaking the Waves"). Steve Buscemi is wonderful to watch as always, he has so much rogue charm to him, and is just a damn entertaining actor. My favourite performance in the film came from William H. Macy, a very underrated actor, who brought the character of Jerry Lundegard to life in many ways. I loved how he was quite a nice guy, a friendly guy who was just lost on what to do when he wanted money. Macy shows very well the enjoyable, nice guy value to Jerry as well as being a darker character in other places in the film.

THE BAD:

--The film walks a fine line plot-wise.there doesn't seem to be all that much in this movie really. It has a number of unimportant scenes that I felt the movie could've done without (Marge's old college buddy Mike?). Some of them were funny and enjoyable, while quite a few just dragged the film down and made it boring and slow in places.

RATING:

7/10 - I appreciated this movie, and it was made well. Perhaps it just wasn't particularly to my taste, I just didn't find it as engaging or masterful as many have over the years. Real good then, yah.

IF YOU LIKED THIS MOVIE I RECOMMEND:

The Ice Storm (9/10) O Brother, Where Art Thou? (5/10) Pulp Fiction (10/10) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (4/10) Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (7/10)


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