Skip to main content

Uff-da, 'Fargo' was released 20 years ago – think ya know the film?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

It's been 20 years since the Coen brothers released a film that gave the world an inside look at life in the northern Midwest. Or at least reinforced the stereo types.

With snow, accents and some of the nicest criminals anyone's ever seen, "Fargo" hit theaters March 8, 1996, and became an instant success.

Here are some facts yah might not have known about the film:

'Fargo' was initially s'posed to be called Brainerd

But whenever the Coen brothers would talk 'bout the film, people didn't believe Brainerd was a real place. And for some reason they didn't decide to swap for another Minnesota city like Moorhead, Menahga or Blackduck.

This embed is invalid

Even though a Minnesota city didn't make the the film's title, Minnesota's landscapes did. Nearly the entire movie was shot in either Brainerd or Minneapolis. In fact, no scenes were actually filmed in Fargo's city limits, ya know?

Nice weather we're havin', ya?

Filmmakers ran into an unusual problem for Minnesota. It wasn't very cold and there wasn't much snow. "Fargo" was filmed in January and February, William H. Macy – who played Jerry Lundegaard – told Entertainment Weekly the crew had to travel farther and farther up north chasing snow. They ended up havin' to truck some in and use snow making equipment. And Macy had to drink hot tea just so the cameras could see his breath.

This embed is invalid

That's... different.

Ronald Reagan made his way into the film. Not actually, but Bruce Campbell, who plays the president in the TV series, has a cameo in the 1996 movie. He pops up for a bit on the cabin's TV screen.

The film has some Swedish bad words. You can do your own research.

This embed is invalid

There was a rumor that Prince played a murder victim. But IMDB says it's just that, a rumor.

"Fargo" almost had a TV series 19 years ago. Like the current show, it was also going to be called "Fargo". The series was going to follow Marge Gunderson as she investigated a murder, but it never took off.

Watch closely

If you watch closely, whenever Marge and husband, Norm, are together, they're either eating or lying in a bed.

And that morning show Jean Lundegaard was watching before she got kidnapped was real. The Minnesota talkshow, "Good Company", ran in the '80s and '90s.

And lastly...

It's not based on a true story. Sorry. It was just marketed that way to make it more appealing. Apparently that worked.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.


Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.