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Fargo (Special Edition) (1996)

William H. Macy , Frances McDormand , Ethan Coen , Jeffrey Schwarz  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (753 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Fargo (Special Edition) + The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Collector's Edition) + No Country for Old Men
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Product Details

  • Actors: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd
  • Directors: Ethan Coen, Jeffrey Schwarz, Joel Coen
  • Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Producers: Andrew Reznik, Chris Sikorowski, Eric Fellner
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (753 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009W5CA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fargo (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New documentary: "Minnesota Nice"
  • Interview with the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand
  • Trivia track
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery
  • Original advertising gallery
  • Hidden menus and other surprises

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

Nominated* for seven Oscars(r) and winner of two, this darkly amusing thriller combines a first-rate cast, "a dazzling mix of mirth and malice" (Rolling Stone) and a bizarre kidnapping plot that unravels the Midwest like never before. Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, Fargo is a brilliant tour de force from the creators of Raising Arizonaand O Brother, Where Art Thou? *1996: Best Picture, Director, Actress (McDormand, won), Supporting Actor (Macy), Original Screenplay (won), Cinematography, Editing

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coen's pay tribute to Middle America July 2, 2003
Format:DVD
Of all the Cohen Brother's tremendously entertaining movies, this is the best. This is the one that they will be remembered for. William H. Macy plays Jerry Lundegaard, a man in a spot. He's a used car salesman that has been securing loans for cars that are not really in his lot. The bank is calling in the loans, threatening legal action, and he needs money fast. He forms a plan to have his own wife kidnapped, thereby splitting the ransom money between himself and the kidnappers.
It's a terrible plan, and it quickly unravels into a bloody mess of murder and betrayal. When bodies begin to mount, a local police officer, Marge Gunderson, is called in. Frances McDormand plays Marge Gunderson, and she makes the movie magical.
McDormand won an Oscar for the role, and this is one instance when the recipient deserved the award. She plays "Margie" with a huge dose of humanity. She is a character that sneaks up on you. When she is introduced, you wonder if perhaps she is just a small town officer in way over her head. She is pregnant, speaks in small town (Minnesota) idioms, and throws up from morning sickness when investigating the first brutal murders. She seems more like a nice, Minnesotan housewife than a cop. But early you get the feeling that there is something special about her.
The killings involve a traffic cop that was killed while issuing a ticket for a missing plate. In his log book, he was written DLR. When Marge's fellow officer says that he has run a search for all tags starting with DLR, Marge says gently, "I'm not sure I agree with you 100 percent on your police work there, Irv." She explains to Irv that DLR means that it was a new car, a dealer's car. "Oooh" says Irv, staring into space.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Funny, Disturbing Movie November 24, 2004
Format:DVD
I put Fargo up there with the best. The Coens are young and productive, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with in their careers. They'll have a hard time topping Fargo. Some things I like about it...

--The way they mix violence with humor (not just gross-out easy laughs). Buscemi's reaction to Stormare shooting the cop is funny in a twisted way... but Stormare going after the young couple immediately after is scary and unsettling. This one scene sets the tone of the whole movie.

--Buscemi's reaction to Presnell's refusal to deal is funny...but Buscemi's reaction to being shot is also funny, and is also scary.

--Marge Gunderson feeling nauseated when she sees the mess at the crime scene...and it's just morning sickness. This brief moment really establishes her character.

--Marge Gunderson's relationship with her husband is really endearing, and is a thread that runs throughout the movie. It gives the movie a lot more humanity that most Coen films have.

--And Bill Macy; his character is so earnest and so out of his depth.

Fargo is a movie that stands up to repeated watching.

The DVD transfer is first-rate
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A is for acting. October 12, 2006
Format:DVD
I can't believe how many reviewers neglected the fact that part of the genius of this movie is the way it is passed off as a true story. Even the rumor that the cop was really a man just fuels the belief, although it is pure fiction. The acting is great all around, but Macy steals the show as the complex, pathetic Lundegaard, a spineless, wimpy guy who married the overbearing, egotistical boss's ditzy, innocent daughter. We never really find out why Jerry needs the money, although schemes involving a parking lot investment, insurance fraud, and a phony kidnapping are all backfiring as the plot unfolds. Perhaps he simply needs the money from the kidnapping and/or the investment to cover the auto insurance fraud screw-up when they call his loan back. It is never really explained, and to good effect. The impetus for the capers is irrelevant.

Macy's lies (very realistic for a used car salesman), private temper tantrums and loss of control, and lack of authority over his father in-law are perfectly played. The police interview scene in his office with Frances McDormand is pure genius, from the acting to the writing to the filming. This is movie making artistry.

Buscemi and Stormare are perfect as the not-quite-competent thieves hired for the project, with Stormare a cold-blooded and obvious sociopath and Buscemi an almost likeable lost soul.

This is a fairly realistic movie, other than the scene where Stormare fires a single perfect shot at over 100 feet into the back of a fleeing crime witness, who is running in deep snow and illuminated only by car headlights. It's nice to actually see a character in serious pain after getting shot, with lasting wounds, such as Buscemi's Carl Showalter suffers.

Not for the faint of heart, I recommend this movie 100%.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Betcha! July 5, 2003
Format:DVD
Whenever I rave about a movie I've recently seen, there's the inevitable question "What's it about?" With regard to this film, I recall responding that it's about a pregnant police chief who eventually solves a series of brutal murders somewhere in the Upper Midwest. (Brainerd, Minnesota? Fargo, North Dakota?) It is always a pleasure to observe Frances McDormand's performance in a role for which she received an Academy Award for best actress in 1996. The film was directed by Joel Coen who co-wrote the screenplay with brother Ethan. This film effectively combines some of the most dead-on (albeit affectionate) cultural satire of Scandinavian Americans in "Small Town U.S.A." with severe physical violence as when one victim is stuffed upside-down in a wood chip machine. (When I first observed "Margie" methodically gathering information, I was reminded of Colombo whose keen mind is also underestimated.) The basic story involves Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a desperate swindler. After his wealthy father-in-law Wade Gustafson (played by Harve Presnell whom I did not recognize) refuses to become involved in a real estate project, Lundegaard hires Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimstad (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife Jean (Kristin Rudrud) so that he can use most of the ransom to cover his debts and thereby conceal his crimes. Of course, his plan fails and several lose their lives as a result. As the film ends, the camera focuses on Chief Gunderson as drives her police sedan across the bleak winter landscape (think of the surface of the moon beneath three feet of snow and ice), with one of the two kidnappers in custody. She claims not to understand how anyone could behave badly in such a "beautiful" world.
Yes, this is a nasty film...at times severely violent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematic perfection…
The first time I saw ‘Fargo’, I was completely spellbound. THIS is how you devise a black comedy that involves kidnapping, murder and broken marriages with the spice of real human... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Great transfer MGM
I always liked the film Fargo.
And this Blu-Ray is the definitive version to own.
Great special features.
Great A/V quality.
The best period
Published 1 day ago by Paula J. Bettencourt
5.0 out of 5 stars Remastered Edition is EXCELLENT
The old blu-ray edition of Fargo has a hyper-detailed and sharp image. Unfortunately that came at the expense of artifacts (not film grain). Read more
Published 3 days ago by arrowzip
3.0 out of 5 stars Story of this Film is Good but Picture Quality is Very Upset!
Story of this Film is Good but Picture Quality is Very Upset! Do not buy this film if you expect a Good Pic Quality.
Published 4 days ago by Madhuranga F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Oooo Yayyyy .... Ooooo Yaaaa
The Fargo tv series on Fx tempted me to rent and watch the movie at 2am and it was worth the effort and time. Oooo Yaaaa
Published 5 days ago by kamal gola
4.0 out of 5 stars No matter how desperate your situation never get involved with the...
One of my favorite Coen Brothers' films. Fargo is the epitome of the dark comedy. While criminals sometimes can be brutal, they are not always the most intelligent masterminds... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Ansel G. Whatley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Epitome of American Cinema
The movie opens up with a cautionary text about it's factual origins. This was merely an excellent marketing campaign implemented by the brothers Coen, as not only is the movie not... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Julian Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars An older film in a whole new light.
Definitely pick up the remastered edition of the Coen Bros. Fargo if you're a fan of the film. This makes it look so much cleaner and louder and its just so much better than the... Read more
Published 6 days ago by pallmall22
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a great movie
My understanding is that this is a 4k remaster, as with Robocop. Robocop looks a lot better than this, though Fargo still looks great. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Justin C. Sallows
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
It's definitely a classic, I love the movie and since I started to really flesh out my blue ray collection I was glad to see this was as cheap as it was.
Published 12 days ago by Adrianna Davis
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OK, but now it's time for a really special edition
But, NCFOM wasn't supposed to be humorous. It was quite faithful to the book, which was pretty brutal, too, yet very well written. The Coens shot the movie well as they always do and since the movie had such a strong impact on you, it appears they did their usual stellar job.
Sep 8, 2009 by olympyx |  See all 2 posts
FARGO starring Larry Brandenburg Be the first to reply
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