Fargo

Fargo

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

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Production: MGM
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 79 wins & 59 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.1
Metacritic:
85
Rotten Tomatoes:
93%
R (Restricted)
Year:
1996
98
Website
14,881 Views

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.

[Jerry meets Carl and Grimsrud sitting at the bar]

Jerry:
I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard.

Carl:
You're Jerry Lundegaard?

Jerry:
Yah. Shep Proudfoot said--

Carl:
Shep said you'd be here at 7:30. What gives now?

Jerry:
[confused] Shep said 8:30.

Carl:
We've been sitting here an hour. He’s peed three times already.

Jerry:
Ah, I'm terribly sorry. Shep told me 8:30. It was a mix-up, I guess.

Carl:
You got the car?

Jerry:
Yah, you bet! It's in the lot there. Brand-new burnt umber Ciera.

Carl:
Yeah, okay, well, sit down then. [Jerry takes a seat] I'm Carl Showalter and this is my associate Gaear Grimsrud.

Jerry:
Yah, how ya doin'. So, we all set on this thing, then?

Carl:
Sure, Jerry, we're all set. Why wouldn't we be?

Jerry:
Yah, no, I'm sure you are. Shep vouched for you and all. I got every confidence in you fellas. [smiles at Grimsrud] So, I guess that's it, then. Here are the keys...

Carl:
No, that's not it, Jerry.

Jerry:
Huh?

Carl:
The new vehicle, plus forty thousand dollars.

Jerry:
Yah, but the deal was, the car first, see, then the forty thousand, like as if it was the ransom. I thought Shep told ya?

Carl:
Shep didn't tell us much, Jerry.

Jerry:
Well, okay...

Carl:
Except that you were gonna be here at 7:30.

Jerry:
Yah, well, that was a mix-up, then.

Carl:
Yeah, you already said that.

Jerry:
Yah. But it's not a whole pay-in-advance deal. I give you a brand-new vehicle in advance and--

Carl:
I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry.

Jerry:
Okay.

Carl:
I'm not gonna sit here and debate. I will say this though, what Shep told us didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Jerry:
Oh, no, it's real sound. It's all worked out.

Carl:
You want your own wife kidnapped?

Jerry:
Yah.

Carl:
You... My point is, you pay the ransom what eighty thousand bucks? I mean, you give us half the ransom, forty thousand, you keep half. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul, it doesn't make any sence.

Jerry:
[laughs] Okay, see, it's not me payin' the ransom. The thing is, my wife, she's wealthy. Her dad, he's real well off. Now, I'm in a bit of trouble--

Carl:
What kinda trouble are you in, Jerry?

Jerry:
Well, that's... that's... I'm not go inta, inta... see, I just need money. Now, her dad's real well off.

Carl:
So? Why don't you just ask him for the money?

Grimsrud:
Or your f***ing wife, you know.

Carl:
Or your f***ing wife, Jerry?

Jerry:
Well, it's all just part of this... They don't know I need it, see. Okay, so there's that. And even if they did, I wouldn't get it. So there's that on top, then. See, these're personal matters.

Carl:
Personal matters?

Jerry:
Yah. Personal matters that needn't, uh...

Carl:
Okay, Jerry. You're tasking us to perform this mission, but you, you won't, uh, you won't... Aw, f*** it, let's take a look at that Ciera.

Deifenbach:
Mr. Lundegaard, this is Reilly Deifenbach calling from GMAC. How are you this morning?

Jerry:
Yah, real good. How you doin'?

Deifenbach:
Pretty good, Mr. Lundegaard. You're damned hard to get on the phone.

Jerry:
Yah, it's pretty darned busy here, but that's the way we like it.

Deifenbach:
That's for sure. Now, I just need, on these last, these financing documents you sent us, I can't read the serial numbers of the vehicles on here, so I--

Jerry:
But I already got the, it's okay, the loans are in place, I already got the, the what, the--

Deifenbach:
Yeah, the three hundred and twenty thousand, you got the money last month.

Jerry:
Yah, so we're all set.

Deifenbach:
Yeah, but the vehicles you were borrowing on, I just can't read the serial numbers on your application. Maybe if you could just read them to me--

Jerry:
But the deal's already done, I already got the money.

Deifenbach:
Yeah, but we have an audit here, I just have to know that these vehicles you're financing with this money, that they really exist.

Jerry:
Yah, well, they exist all right.

Deifenbach:
I'm sure they do, but I can't read their serial numbers here. So if you could read me--

Jerry:
Well, but see... I don't have them in front of me. Why don't I just fax you over a copy?

Deifenbach:
No. Fax is no good, that's what I have and I can't read the darn thing.

Jerry:
Yah, okay, I'll have my girl send you over a copy, then.

Deifenbach:
Okay, because if I can't correlate this note with the specific vehicles, then I gotta call back that money.

Jerry:
Yah, how much money was that?

Deifenbach:
Three hundred and twenty thousand. See, I gotta correlate that money with the cars it's being lent on.

Jerry:
Yah, no problem, I'll just fax that over to ya, then.

Deifenbach:
No, no, fax is--

Jerry:
I mean send it over! I'll shoot it right over to ya.

Deifenbach:
Okay.

Jerry:
Okay, real good, then.

Jerry Lundegaard:
How ya doin' there, Stan? How are ya, Wade?

Stan Grossman:
Good to see ya again, Jerr'. If these numbers are right, this looks pretty sweet.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Oh, those numbers are right, all right. Believe me.

Wade Gustafson:
This is doable.

Stan Grossman:
Congratulations, Jerry.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah, thanks, Stan, it's a pretty--

Wade Gustafson:
What kind of finder's fee were you looking for?

Jerry Lundegaard:
Huh?

Stan Grossman:
The financials are pretty thorough, so the only thing we don't know is your fee.

Jerry Lundegaard:
My fee? Wade, what the heck're you talkin' about?

Wade Gustafson:
Stan and I're okay.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

Wade Gustafson:
We're good to loan in.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

Wade Gustafson:
But we never talked about your fee for bringin' it to us.

Jerry Lundegaard:
No, but, Wade, see, I was bringin' you this deal for you to loan me the money to put in. It's my deal here, see?

Stan Grossman:
Jerry, we thought you were bringin' us an investment.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah, right.

Stan Grossman:
You're sayin'... What're you sayin'?

Wade Gustafson:
You're sayin' that we put in all the money and you collect when it pays off?

[Wade and Stan laugh]

Jerry Lundegaard:
No, no. I- I 'd, pay you back the principal, and interest. Heck, I'd go one over prime?

Stan Grossman:
We're not a bank, Jerry.

Wade Gustafson:
What the heck, Jerry, if I wanted bank interest on seven hundred fifty thousand I'd go to Midwest Federal. Talk to Bill Diehl.

Stan Grossman:
He's at Norstar.

Wade Gustafson:
He's at--

Jerry Lundegaard:
No, see, I don't need a finder's fee, I need a... finder's fee's, what, ten percent? Heck, that's not gonna do it for me. I need the principal!

Stan Grossman:
Jerry, we're not just going to give you seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars!

Wade Gustafson:
What the heck were you thinkin'? Heck, if I'm only gettin' bank interest, I'd look for complete security. Heck, FDIC. I don't see nothin' like that here.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah, but I... Okay, I would, I'd guarantee ya your money back.

Wade Gustafson:
I'm not talkin' about your damn word, Jerry! Geez, what the heck're you--

Stan Grossman:
We’re not a bank, Jerry.

Wade Gustafson:
Well, look, I don't want to cut you out of the loop, but this here's a good deal. I assume, if you're not interested, you won't mind if we move on it. Independently.

[Jerry answers the phone at his office]

Jerry Lundegaard:
Jerry Lundegaard.

Carl Showalter:
All right, Jerry, you got this phone to yourself?

Jerry Lundegaard:
Well... yah.

Carl Showalter:
Know who this is?

Jerry Lundegaard:
Well, yah, I got an idea. How's that Ciera workin' out for ya?

Carl Showalter:
Circumstances have changed, Jerry.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Well... what do ya mean?

Carl Showalter:
Things have changed. Circumstances, Jerry. Beyond the, uh, acts of God, force majeure-

Jerry Lundegaard:
What the... how's Jean?

Carl Showalter:
Who's Jean?

Jerry Lundegaard:
My wife! What the- how's...

Carl Showalter:
Oh, Jean's okay, but there's three people up in Brainerd who aren't so okay, I'll tell ya that.

Jerry Lundegaard:
What the heck're you talkin' about? Let's just finish up this deal here -

Carl Showalter:
Blood has been shed, Jerry.

Jerry Lundegaard:
What the heck ya mean?

Carl Showalter:
Three people. In Brainerd.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Oh, geez.

Carl Showalter:
That's right and we need more money.

Jerry Lundegaard:
The heck d'ya mean? What a you fellas get yourself mixed up in?

Carl Showalter:
We need more -

Jerry Lundegaard:
This was s'posed to be a no-rough-stuff-type deal...

Carl Showalter:
DON'T EVER INTERRUPT ME, JERRY! JUST SHUT THE F*** UP!

Jerry Lundegaard:
Well, I'm sorry, but I just - I -

Carl Showalter:
Look, I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry. The price is now the whole amount. We want the entire $80,000.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Oh, for Christ sakes here...

Carl Showalter:
Blood has been shed. We've incurred risks, Jerry. I'm coming into town tomorrow. Have the money ready.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Now we had a deal. A deal's a deal.

Carl Showalter:
Is it, Jerry? Why don't you ask those three poor souls in Brainerd if a deal's a deal. Go ahead, ask them!

Jerry Lundegaard:
The heck do ya mean?

Carl Showalter:
[mimicking] "The heck ya mean?" I'll see you tomorrow.

[Jerry hangs up, but the phone rings again]

Jerry Lundegaard:
YAH!

Reilly Deifenbach:
Jerome Lundegaard?

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

Reilly Deifenbach:
This is Reilly Deifenbach at GMAC. Sir, I have not yet received those vehicle ID's you promised me.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah! I... Those are in the mail.

Reilly Deifenbach:
That very well may be. I must inform you, however, that absent the receipt of those numbers by tomorrow afternoon, I will have to refer this matter to our legal department.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

Reilly Deifenbach:
My patience is at an end.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

Reilly Deifenbach:
Good day, sir.

Jerry Lundegaard:
Yah.

[Jerry hangs up and slams his binder on his desk]

Mike:
Marge!?

Marge:
Mike!

Mike:
Geez! Oh, you look great! [awkwardly hugs Marge]

Marge:
Yah, easy there, you do too! I'm expecting, ya know.

Mike:
I see that! That's great! Oh, what can I get ya?

Marge:
Just a Diet Coke, please. [they take a seat at the booth] This is a nice place.

Mike:
Yah, ya know it's the Radisson, so it's pretty good.

Marge:
So, you're livin' in Edina, now?

Mike:
Oh, yah, couple years now. It's actually Eden Prairie, that school district. So Chief Gunderson, then! So ya went and married Norm Son-of-a-Gunderson!

Marge:
Oh, yah, a long time ago.

Mike:
Great. So, uh, what brings ya down. Are ya down here on that homicide if you're allowed, ya know, to discuss that?

Marge:
Oh, yah, but there's not a heck of a lot to discuss. So, what about you, Mike? Are you married? You got kids?

Mike:
Well, uh, I was married. I was married to- You mind if I sit over here? [slids out of his side of the booth and eases in next to Marge] I was married to Linda Cooksey.

Marge:
No, I... Mike, why don't ch'ya sit over there, I'd prefer that.

Mike:
Huh? Oh, okay. [slids back to his original seat across from Marge] I'm sorry.

Marge:
No, just so I can see ya, ya know. Don't have to turn my neck.

Mike:
Oh, sure, I understand, I didn't mean to-

Marge:
No, no, that's fine.

Mike:
Yah, sorry, so I was married to Linda Cooksey- ya remember Linda? She was a year behind us.

Marge:
Yah, I think I remember Linda, yah. Oh yah! So, things didn't work out, huh?

Mike:
And then I- and then I been workin' for Honeywell for a few years now.

Marge:
Well, they're a good outfit.

Mike:
Yah, if you're an engineer, yah, you could do a lot worse. Of course, it's not, uh, it's nothin' like your achievement.

Marge:
It sounds like you're doin' really super.

Mike:
Yah, well, I, uh... it's not that it didn't work out... Linda had leukemia. She passed away.

Marge:
Oh, no.

Mike:
It was a tough, uh ... it was a long. She fought real hard.

Marge:
I'm sorry, Mike.

Mike:
Oh, ya know, that's, uh - what can I say? Better times, huh?

Marge:
Better times.

Mike:
And, oh, then I saw you on the news and I remembered... I always liked you...

Marge:
Well, I always liked you, Mike.

Mike:
I always liked you so much!

Marge:
[awkward pause] So, Mike, should we get together another time, ya think?

Mike:
No! No, I'm sorry! It's just- I shouldn't a done this... I thought we'd have a really terrific time, and now I've...

Marge:
It's okay, Mike.

Mike:
You were such a super lady! And then I... I been so lonely... [cries]

Marge:
It's okay.


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