Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film Fargo is a classical and quirky masterpiece that keeps viewers on edge. Over the years, while watching this entertainment masterpiece, many have asked the same question, “Is Fargo a true story,” and today, we are here to answer them.
If you are one of those who haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet, here’s a quick introduction for you. Fargo is a classic black comedy crime thriller film that revolves around Jerry’s typical charades to extract money from his father-in-law. In the beginning, Jerry thinks that everything is going according to his plans, but soon he finds himself landing in big trouble.
Is Fargo A True Story? The Coen’s Want Audience To Believe In This!
1996 movie Fargo starts with very specific opening credits “The movie is based on a true story. The events shown in Coens’ comedy blockbuster took place in 1987 in Minnesota. At the request of the survivors and others involved, the characters’ names have been changed. Apart from that, the rest of the story is told exactly as it is.” We all know this isn’t the first time we are coming across such disclaimers in a movie. The events depicted in the film are too good to be true, which makes us doubt the authenticity of this story.
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 1h 38m
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Frances McDormand, William H. Macy
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime Video
Plot Of The Movie | Fargo Is A True-Crime Drama!
When it comes to a movie directed by the great Coen brothers, viewers know they are going in for plenty of light-hearted moments and uncontrollable fits of laughter. Coens are known for making great movies and tricking people into believing that they see a dramatized adaptation of a real-life event. Let me say this once and for all. That’s not true at all. As far as it goes for Fargo, the film’s plot revolves around the main character Jerry Lundegaard and his wife, Jean.
Jerry is an Oldsmobile dealer with his feet dug six feet deep into financial favors he has taken over the years. Jerry hires two lazybones, Carl and Gaear, to abduct his wife to fix his financial problems. Yeah, you are guessing it right. Jerry plans to threaten his father-in-law (who is the owner of Jerry’s dealership) with his daughter’s life so he can extort some cash. Enter a very savvy and pregnant detective Marge Gunderson into the mix and witness how things take a drastic turn for Jerry.
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Revealing The Truth | Is Fargo A True Story?
Now, back to our real question, Is Fargo a true story. NO. Fargo is not a true story. Back in 2016, during the movie’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, one of the Coen brothers finally spilled the beans in an interview with HuffPost. According to Ethan Coen, the disclaimer was only added to give the story more depth and set a specific tone. Ethan’s official statement read, “We wanted to make a movie just in the genre of a true story movie.” About the disclaimer, Ethan added, “You don’t have to have a true story to make a true story movie.”
Like we discussed above, the Coen brothers wanted nothing more than to make the audience believe in the true-crime drama aspect of Fargo. However, the movie isn’t a complete work of their creative imagination. A few bits are inspired by real-life events like the infamous wood-chipper scene and Jerry Lundegaard’s character. Adding a disclaimer was a wise choice from the director’s perspective because it makes the movie worth watching.
Is Fargo The Movie And Fargo The TV Series Connected? A Link Between The Big & The Small Screen!
Due to the similar disclaimer being shown at the beginning of the movie and the TV series, people think there is a connection between the two. Well, there isn’t a connection between them, yet a few things bind the two together. First, the disclaimer is a homage to Coen’s brother’s movie Fargo and only adds a mythical appeal to the TV series (just like the movie).
The second connection is that the TV series Fargo (2014) is made up. No part of it is true, just like its inspiration Fargo the movie. However, there are a few noticeable similarities, like Buscemi’s briefcase (full of money) and the ne’er-do-well criminals. Other than that, the disclaimer is also the same. The only thing that changes is the date and location from season to season in the disclaimer.
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No. Of Seasons: 4
IMDB Rating: 8.9/10
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman
Where To Stream: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
The truth behind Fargo’s story does not change the fact that it’s a masterpiece and a movie that should be on everyone’s watch list. If you don’t have anything to do, I suggest you watch the movie and drop your reviews in the comments section below.