Fargo (film)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German title Fargo
Original title Fargo
Fargo logo.png
Country of production United Kingdom ,
United States
original language English
Publishing year 1996
length 98 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Joel Coen
script Ethan and Joel Coen
production Ethan Coen
music Carter Burwell
camera Roger Deakins
cut Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
(as "Roderick Jaynes")

Fargo (German TV title Fargo - Bloody Snow ) is a film by the American director Joel Coen , who wrote the script together with his brother Ethan Coen . The film takes place in 1987 in the snowy northern Midwest of the United States.

For the portrayal of a pregnant sheriff (Marge Gunderson), Frances McDormand received the 1997 Oscar for best actress , the Coen brothers received the Oscar for best original screenplay .


In the winter of 1987, Jerry Lundegaard worked in Minneapolis as a sales manager at the dealership of his dominant father-in-law, Wade Gustafson, but was in great financial trouble. With the help of the previously convicted Indian workshop employee Shep Proudfoot, he therefore hires two criminals in Fargo , the silent Gaear Grimsrud and the nervous gossip Carl Showalter. They are supposed to kidnap his wife Jean "without brutality" in order to extort a ransom of 80,000 US dollars from Jerry's father-in-law. Lundegaard provides the two of them with a new car and promises them half of the ransom. In fact, he wants to extort a million dollars from his rich father-in-law.

During the night transport of Lundegaard's kidnapped wife to her hiding place - a remote holiday home by a lake - the kidnappers are checked by a patrolman on a lonely country road, because Showalter was too lazy to put the mandatory license plates on her car. After an unsuccessful attempt at bribery by Showalter, Grimsrud cold-bloodedly shoots the police officer and, after a short chase, two young witnesses who had witnessed the murder. The heavily pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson from Brainerd starts the investigation the next morning. From the last entry of the murdered policeman, there is an initial lead that leads to two prostitutes whose services the perpetrators had used.

The bossy father-in-law thinks Lundegaard is incapable and wants to hand over the ransom himself. He thwarts Lundegaard's plan to withhold most of the ransom from the two kidnappers. He also provokes the kidnapper Showalter with his demanding demeanor at the handover location, a parking garage, and an exchange of fire ensues in which the father-in-law is fatally hit. The Showalter, who was injured in the face, murdered a parking attendant while on the run and found that the sum brought in his suitcase was a whole million. He hides the unexpected surplus from his accomplice in a snowdrift on the edge of the road to the holiday home.

Marge Gunderson has now traced the murderers via their connection to the mechanic Proudfoot and via the used car to the dealership and demands an inventory of his vehicle inventory from the stubborn Lundegaard, whereupon the latter, after a lengthy discussion with the insistent policewoman, flees headlong. When a bartender gave a hint, the police became aware of the holiday home in which Showalter and Grimsrud were hiding. Grimsrud has now murdered Lundegaard's wife there because she was getting on his nerves. Then he also kills Carl in a dispute over the division of the booty. Grimsrud is surprised by Gunderson while the corpses are being disposed of with a garden shredder, shot at while trying to escape and arrested. Meanwhile, Lundegaard is located and overwhelmed by the police in a motel.


source rating
Rotten tomatoes

The film received mostly positive reviews, earning a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 84 reviews. At Metacritic one could Metascore of 85, are on 24 reviews, achieved based.

“An exciting thriller with perfectly used ingredients of the genre, but just as much flair for comedy and absurdities. In addition, an almost touching portrait of the country and its people. "

“A bizarre mix of genres: on the one hand black humor and lots of blood, on the other hand beautiful pictures. Irresistible loser types and the most amiable policewoman in recent crime history make the film a highlight. "

“'Fargo' is a homeland film by all the rules of the art, a homage to the provinciality of this 'Scandinavian' Midwest […] The Coen brothers never have a story (which they insidiously claim to be a true and recorded one) like this detailed, so laconic, so lovingly and so little told from above, also so relaxed, yes so human-friendly. "

- Urs Jenny : Der Spiegel 46/1996


Oscar 1997



  • Best movie
  • Best director: Joel Coen
  • Best Supporting Actor: William H. Macy
  • Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins
  • Best Editing: Roderick Jaynes (pseudonym for Joel and Ethan Coen)

International Cannes Film Festival 1996

BAFTA Award 1997

  • David Lean Award for Best Director: Joel Coen

Golden Globe 1997


  • Best film - musical or comedy
  • Best Director (Fiction): Joel Coen
  • Best Actress - Musical or Comedy: Frances McDormand
  • Best Screenplay (Feature Film): Joel and Ethan Coen



  • Although the film owes its title to her, the city of Fargo ( North Dakota ) only appears briefly at the beginning. Most of the action takes place in the neighboring US state of Minnesota , from which the Coen brothers also come.
  • In the film there is a large statue of Paul Bunyan in front of the entrance to the city of Brainerd . However, this scene was filmed in Bathgate , North Dakota.
  • The rental car the kidnappers drive is an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera .
  • A fade-in at the beginning of the film stated: “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film are based on a crime that occurred in Minnesota in 1987. The names were changed at the request of the survivors. Out of respect for the dead, the rest of the story was told exactly as it happened. ”After research by journalists, however, the Coen brothers admitted in an interview that it was a joke. The attentive viewer could, however, already read in the credits : "Similarities with living or dead people are not intended ..."
  • The photo wall, in which Jerry Lundegaard and the many other dealership employees are shown in single frames, is also a search game for many duplicate images of the employees, some of which appear in color and in black and white. Jerry is also the only one depicted with his arms crossed.
  • The beginning of the film No Country for Old Men by the Coen brothers, in which a murderer brutally escapes police custody, seems like a continuation of the ending of Fargo , in which a murderer is brought into police custody by a policewoman.

Television series

In 1997 a pilot episode for a sequel to the series was produced. In it, Edie Falco took on the role of Marge Gunderson and Matt Malloy played her husband Norm Gunderson. As the sole actor in the original film, Bruce Bohne returned as police officer Lou. The screenplay for the episode was written by Bruce Paltrow and Robert Palm and directed by Kathy Bates . After completion, however, no series was commissioned. The pilot episode was broadcast in 2003 on the US network Trio as part of a series of brilliant but unsuccessful pilot films.

The US cable broadcaster FX has been broadcasting a television series of the same name since 2014 , a mixture of a loose adaptation and spin-off of the film. The series was produced for MGM Television , the script for all ten episodes was written by Noah Hawley . Ethan and Joel Coen were executive producers . Filming began in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the fall of 2013 .

In terms of content, the series differs significantly from the original film: neither characters are taken up again, nor is the story told again. At best, the film can be viewed as a little prehistory, as the series picks up a loose end to the film - the buried suitcase of money - and continues it. Otherwise, the atmosphere and certain motifs of the film are only used to establish new characters and to tell an independent story. The leading roles were played by Martin Freeman , Allison Tolman , Billy Bob Thornton and Colin Hanks . The series began airing on FX on April 15, 2014 and on Netflix in September 2014. In July 2014, a second season of the series was commissioned. A third season was also produced.

The series was nominated for 18 Emmys , including best miniseries , for the screenplay and for all four leading actors.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Approval certificate for Fargo . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , May 2005 (PDF; test number: 76 019 DVD).
  2. a b [1] at Rotten Tomatoes , accessed on February 4, 2015
  3. a b [2] at Metacritic , accessed on February 4, 2015
  4. Fargo in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  5. Fargo at Rotten Tomatoes (English)
  6. Fargo at Metacritic (English)
  7. ^ Fargo. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  8. Urs Jenny: Upright woman takes action . Mirror online
  9. Jan Bollen: The holy grail for FARGO fans: the 1997 TV pilot starring Edie Falco. In: bttcinema.com. December 20, 2015, accessed December 29, 2015 .
  10. Episode guide TV series “Fargo” on serienjunkies.de
  11. Netflix presents Fargo at the start of Germany [3]
  12. Emmy Awards: Fargo