Fargo [1996]

Director: Ethan Coen, Jeffrey Schwarz, Joel Coen
Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 98 minutes

Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers (Joel directs, Ethan produces, they both write) to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper that's simultaneously a comedy of errors, a Midwestern satire, a taut suspense thriller, and a violent tale of criminal misfortune. It all begins when a hapless car salesman (played to perfection by William H. Macy) ineptly orchestrates the kidnapping of his own wife. The plan goes horribly awry in the hands of bumbling bad guys Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (one of them being described by a local girl as "kinda funny lookin'" and "not circumcised"), and the pregnant sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota, (played exquisitely by Frances McDormand in an Oscar-winning role) is suddenly faced with a case of multiple murders. Her investigation is laced with offbeat observations about life in the rural hinterland of Minnesota and North Dakota, and Fargo embraces its local yokels with affectionate humor. At times shocking and hilarious, Fargo is utterly unique and distinctly American, bearing the unmistakable stamp of its inspired creators. --Jeff Shannon

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Mr. Mohra:
So, I'm tendin' bar there at Ecklund and Swedlin's last Tuesday and this little guy's drinkin' and he says, "So where can a guy find some action? I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake." And I says, "What kinda action?" and he says, "Woman action, what do I look like?" And I says, "Well, what do I look like, I don't arrange that kinda thing," and he says, "I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake," and I says, "Well, this ain't that kinda place."

Officer Olson:
Uh-huh.

Mr. Mohra:
So he says, "So I get it, so you think I'm some kinda jerk for askin'," only he doesn't use the word jerk.

Officer Olson:
I understand.

Mr. Mohra:
And then he calls me a jerk and says the last guy who thought he was a jerk was dead now. So I don't say nothin' and he says, "What do ya think about that?" So I says, "Well, that don't sound like too good a deal for him then."

Officer Olson:
Ya got that right.

Mr. Mohra:
And he says, "Yah, that guy's dead and I don't mean of old age." And then he says, "Geez, I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake."

Officer Olson:
White Bear Lake?

Mr. Mohra:
Well, Ecklund & Swedlin's, that's closer ta Moose Lake, so I made that assumption.

Officer Olson:
Oh sure.

Mr. Mohra:
So, ya know, he's drinkin', so I don't think a whole great deal of it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the homicides down here and she thought I should call it in, so I called it in. End o' story.

Officer Olson:
What'd this guy look like anyway?

Mr. Mohra:
Oh, he was a little guy. Kinda funny lookin'.

Officer Olson:
Uh-huh. In what way?

Mr. Mohra:
Oh, just in a general kinda way.

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