CAST
William H. Macy-Jerry Lundegaard
Steve Buscemi-Carl Showalter
Frances McDormand-Marge Gunderson
Peter Stormare-Gaear Grimsrud
Kristin Rudrüd-Jean Lundegaard
Harve Presnell-Wade Gustafson
Tony Denman-Scotty Lundegaard
Gary Houston-Irate Customer
Sally Wingert-Irate Customer's Wife
Kurt Schweickhardt-Car Salesman
Larissa Kokernot-Hooker #1
Melissa Peterman-Hooker #2
Steve Reevis-Shep Proudfoot
Warren Keith-Reilly Diefenbach
Steve Edelman-Morning Show Host

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This 1996 motion picture is one of the better movies to come out in the last few years. It should have won the best picture Oscar but lost out to The English Patient. Frances McDormand did win the best actress award for her portrayal of Marge Gunderson.

This is the story of a car salesman whose inept foray into crime turns into disaster. The salesman, brilliantly played by William H. Macy, hires two bumbling small time criminals to kidnap his wife. The plan is to collect the ransom from his rich father-in-law (Harve Presnell) and split it with the kidnappers. The two kidnappers, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), have no idea that the car salesman is trying to cheat them by lying about the size of the ransom. The quiet Gaear Grimsrud is probably the more interesting of the two kidnappers. He's been referred to by viewers of the film as "Mr. Personality". The scheme eventually goes awry and the kidnapping turns to murder.

Frances McDormand plays the Chief of Police in Brainerd, Minnesota where the kidnapping turns sour and her department has to investigate the crime. The movie begins with the hiring of the kidnappers in Fargo, North Dakota but the rest of the story takes place in Minnesota. A more descriptive title might have been Brainerd, but that sounds more like a story about a cartoon dog.

The picture was written by Joel and Ethan Coen. Ethan Coen produced the movie and Joel Coen directed it. The Coen brothers have brought us some not very memorable movies (I'm not including Raising Arizona in this list) but Fargo is a true masterpiece. Sure, there are people who'd say that all their films were great but these people are almost as cultish as the Quentin Tarantino worshipers.

Some of you have asked what happened to the people in the story. I don't know. First of all, the story, if at all true, never happened in Minnesota. The plot may be a compilation of events that took place around the country, but it certainly isn't a true story as portrayed in the movie. If you want information about the film, go to The Brainerd Daily Dispatch's Fargo page to learn more.

 

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Wav Sound Files (11KHz)

(click on red link to download)

Jerry Lundegaard: "Yah. But, the deal was the car first, then the forty thousand, like as if it was the ransom. I thought Shep told you.

Carl Showalter: "Shep didn't tell us much, Jerry." (95K)
Jerry Lundegaard: "Is he staying for supper, then?"

Jean Lundegaard: "Yah. I think so. Dad!"

Wade Gustafson: "What?"

Jean Lundegaard: "Are you staying for supper?"  (72K)
Gaear Grimsrud: "Where is Pancakes Hause?"  (28K)
Gaear Grimsrud: "You are a smooth smooth, you know."

Carl Showalter: "Oh, daddy."

Gaear Grimsrud: "Just clear him off the road."  (107K)
Marge Gunderson: "Hon?"

Norm Gunderson: "Yah?"

Marge Gunderson: "Prowler needs a jump."  (44K)
Lou: "You see something down there, Chief?

Marge Gunderson: "No, I just think I'm going to barf."  (57K)
Marge Gunderson: "Well, he's got his gun on his hip there and he looks like a nice enough guy. It's a real shame."  (87K)
Hooker: "Well, the little guy, he was kind of funny looking."

Marge Gunderson: "In what way?"

Hooker: "I don't know. Just funny looking."  (54K)
Marge Gunderson: "Well, associating with criminals, if you're the one I talked to, that right there would be a violation of your parole. Would end you up back in Stillwater.   (93K)
Officer Olson: "Well, what'd this guy look like anyways?"

Mr. Mohra: "Oh, he's a little guy, kind of funny looking."

Officer Olson: "Ah ha. In what way?"

Mr. Mohra: "Oh, just in a general kind of way."  (102K)
Jerry Lundegaard: "Okay. I'll do a damn lot count."

Marge Gunderson: "Sir, right now?"

Jerry Lundegaard: "Yah, right now. You're darn tootin'."  (87K)
Marge Gunderson: "I just don't understand it"  (78K)

 

Wav Sound Effects From the Movie (11KHz)

Glass breaking with woman screaming.  (33K)
Door being kicked in.  (13K)
Going through medicine cabinet and door being shut.  (96K)
Scraping ice off windshield.  (77K)
Door shutting.  (11K)
Body landing on ground.  (17K)
Interior sound of car speeding down a highway.  (77K)
Footsteps in the snow.  (37K)
Phone ringing and being picked up.  (117K)
Electronic phone ringing.  (18K)
Car door slamming shut.  (3K)
Man being slammed against wall and falling.  (62K)
Series of gunshots.  (55K)
Wood chipper running.  (165K)

 

Trailer   (7,906K)

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Movie Script

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CLICK ON MOVIE BELOW FOR A MOVIE REVIEW FROM DESTITUTE GULCH

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