Fargo

Fargo

4.6 23
Director: Joel Coen

Cast: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi

     
 

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Although Joel and Ethan Coen's award-winning Fargo was available before on DVD, this special edition from MGM/UA is a vast improvement. Roger Deakins' simply astonishing cinematography is given first-rate treatment on this disc. The monochromatic look of the film, dominated by vast fields of white snow, brought the film many well-deserved accolades. RogerSee more details below

Overview

Although Joel and Ethan Coen's award-winning Fargo was available before on DVD, this special edition from MGM/UA is a vast improvement. Roger Deakins' simply astonishing cinematography is given first-rate treatment on this disc. The monochromatic look of the film, dominated by vast fields of white snow, brought the film many well-deserved accolades. Roger Deakins' commentary track goes into great detail about his artistic process, his working relationship with Joel and Ethan, and some fairly technical talk about how some of the shots in the film were achieved. Rounding out this entertaining disc are a short retrospective featurette consisting of the cast and crew sharing their memories of working on the film, a segment of The Charlie Rose Show with the brothers and lead actress Frances McDormand, an onscreen text trivia track that combines bizarre tangential trivia about events that transpire on the screen with more conventional production information, and a gallery of advertising materials. Ask a character in the film if this DVD is any good, and odds are they will respond, "Oh yeah, you betcha."

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The Coen brothers (Blood Simple, Barton Fink) scored their biggest critical success with this darkly funny thriller set in a small, winter-bound Minnesota town. The story revolves around a kidnapping that goes awry and the efforts of a quiet, efficient -- and very pregnant -- Fargo police chief (Frances McDormand) to solve a series of increasingly gruesome murders. McDormand won an Oscar for her marvelously understated portrayal of a kind-hearted, coffee-swilling sleuth, but the whole cast -- including William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi -- is superb, delivering the kind of offbeat, stylized performances that are a Coen brothers trademark. Music by regular Coen collaborator Carter Burwell sets a moody tone, beautifully evoking the long nights and frozen expanses of a Minnesota winter. Holding it all together is the directors' complete confidence in their own sensibility; despite the film's mainstream recognition -- it got an Oscar nomination for best picture -- Fargo shows no hint of Hollywood compromise. The film is distinguished by the brothers' unique and very black sense of humor, right down to the foot poking out of the wood chipper.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Fargo never seems to make up its mind if it wants to be an absurdist comedy or a stylized crime drama, and that's a big part of its charm: somehow it manages to be both at the same time. While the movie never shies away from the grim facts or consequences of the kidnapping and multiple murders at the core of the narrative, Fargo does manage to skate playfully into a dryly comic look at life in the frozen wastes of Minnesota, where cuisine is ruled by the buffet and folks really say "You betcha!" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, former Minnesotans themselves, understand the physical and emotional landscape of the little town of Brainerd, and they seem to laugh both with it and at it; while they can't help but find humor in the nasal, Nordic drawl and implacably low-key nature of these people, Joel and Ethan seem genuinely to like them -- especially Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand, in a deservedly Oscar-winning performance), whose perversely sunny disposition only partially obscures the fact that she's a clever, observant, and very effective cop. The Coens have even more fun (though of an edgier variety) with Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi, who steals every scene he's in), a weasely crook whose every word and gesture screams, "I'm Not From Around Here." Despite the film's assured comic sensibility, the Coens bring a nail-biting tension to the murder scenes, and William H. Macy's Jerry Lundergaard is a pathetically compelling mass of misguided motivation and bad choices. While most of their films are remarkable for a gymnastic visual style, the Coen brothers give Fargo a stark, clean look that's the perfect match for the chilly near-monochrome of the snowy Midwestern landscape; Fargo looks less like a Coen brothers film than anything else they've done, while defining their signature themes as clearly as anything else they've done.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2003
UPC:
0027616884152
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
9,892

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Minnesota Nice" documentary; Interview with the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand; Audio commentary by Director of Photography Roger A. Deakins; Trivia track; Behind-the-scenes photo gallery; Original advertising gallery; Hidden menus and other surprises

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Frances McDormand Marge Gunderson
William H. Macy Jerry Lundegaard
Steve Buscemi Carl Showalter
Peter Stormare Gaear Grimsrud
Harve Presnell Wade Gustafson
John Carroll Lynch Norm Gunderson
Kristin Rudrud Jean Lundegaard
Larry Brandenburg Stan Grossman
Stephen Park Mike Yanagita
Cliff Rakerd Officer Olson
Steve Reevis Shep Proudfoot
Bruce Campbell Soap Opera Star on TV
José Feliciano Himself
Sharon Anderson Morning Show Hostess
Gary Houston Irate Customer
Keith Warren Reilly Diefenbach

Technical Credits
Joel Coen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Tim Bevan Executive Producer
John Blake Makeup
Michelangelo Csaba Bolla Asst. Director
Carter Burwell Score Composer
Allan Byer Sound/Sound Designer
John Cameron Producer
Ethan Coen Producer,Screenwriter
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Eric Fellner Executive Producer
Lauri Gaffin Set Decoration/Design
Rick Heinrichs Production Designer
Roderick Jaynes Editor
John Lyons Casting
Paul Murphy Special Effects
Thomas D. Wilkins Art Director
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
1. True Story/Main Title [2:52]
2. Personal Matters [3:31]
3. "Dad's Here" [2:04]
4. Sex and Pancakes [:55]
5. "But That TruCoat..." [2:37]
6. If the Numbers Are Right... [1:18]
7. To Vouch or Not to Vouch [1:00]
8. Complete Silence [1:39]
9. The Darn Serial Numbers [1:28]
10. Unguent for the Kidnapper [2:47]
11. "We're Not a Bank, Jerry" [3:31]
12. "It's Jean... It's My Wife...!" [1:29]
13. Killing for Compliance [7:29]
14. The Most Important Meal [2:49]
15. Murder and Morning Sickness [2:22]
16. Lou's Police Work [1:40]
17. "No Cops! That's Final!" [2:17]
18. Mom's in Florida [1:26]
19. Blind Woman's Bluff [1:12]
20. Better Than the Hautmans [1:20]
21. "Kinda Funny-Lookin'" [3:58]
22. "Blood Has Been Shed" [2:35]
23. The Phone Records [1:33]
24. Wade Prefers to Handle It [4:15]
25. Jerry and the Cop [3:03]
26. Mike's Plight and Times [3:59]
27. "The Old In 'n' Out" [2:27]
28. No Jean, No Money, No Deal [5:36]
29. Going Crazy by the Lake [2:18]
30. Snow Bank [3:54]
31. Snippy Yet Cooperative [3:43]
32. How to Split a Car [2:24]
33. Woodchipped [3:38]
34. More to Life Than Money [3:19]
35. The 3-Cent Stamp [1:35]
36. End Credits [3:41]
Side #2 -- Standard
1. True Story/Main Title [2:52]
2. Personal Matters [3:31]
3. "Dad's Here" [2:04]
4. Sex and Pancakes [:55]
5. "But That TruCoat..." [2:37]
6. If the Numbers Are Right... [1:18]
7. To Vouch or Not to Vouch [1:00]
8. Complete Silence [1:39]
9. The Darn Serial Numbers [1:28]
10. Unguent for the Kidnapper [2:47]
11. "We're Not a Bank, Jerry" [3:31]
12. "It's Jean... It's My Wife...!" [1:29]
13. Killing for Compliance [7:29]
14. The Most Important Meal [2:49]
15. Murder and Morning Sickness [2:22]
16. Lou's Police Work [1:40]
17. "No Cops! That's Final!" [2:17]
18. Mom's in Florida [1:26]
19. Blind Woman's Bluff [1:12]
20. Better Than the Hautmans [1:20]
21. "Kinda Funny-Lookin'" [3:58]
22. "Blood Has Been Shed" [2:35]
23. The Phone Records [1:33]
24. Wade Prefers to Handle It [4:15]
25. Jerry and the Cop [3:03]
26. Mike's Plight and Times [3:59]
27. "The Old In 'n' Out" [2:27]
28. No Jean, No Money, No Deal [5:36]
29. Going Crazy by the Lake [2:18]
30. Snow Bank [3:54]
31. Snippy Yet Cooperative [3:43]
32. How to Split a Car [2:24]
33. Woodchipped [3:38]
34. More to Life Than Money [3:19]
35. The 3-Cent Stamp [1:35]
36. End Credits [3:41]

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