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Fargo: Special Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

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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

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

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: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • 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: April 1, 2014
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,191 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009W5CA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,813 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fargo: Special Edition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Having owned Fargo both on laserdisc and DVD, watching the Blu-ray transfer projected onto a 200 inch screen is like experiencing the film for the first time at the cinema. If not reference quality (this was a low-budget, independant production), the picture and detail are vastly improved compared to any previous home video presentation - the blood really gushes out of the screen. One can now actually see all the unsavoury goings-on in all the murky interior scenes. There is a lot of film grain visible, so thankfully little or no digital noise reduction applied here. The aspect ratio and framing are correct and the sound and dialogue are much clearer than on the very thin-sounding DVD. There are minor edge-enhancement gripes, as other reviewers have pointed out: halos around black objects placed against white backgrounds (see the opening titles, or the lamp posts in Gunderson's car lot) - but this shouldn't prevent any film fanatic from shredding the DVD in the wood-chipper and upgrading to this version.

Edit: The picture transfer on the remastered blu-ray released April 2014 is even better! The edge-enhancement halos are now gone and even more detail is visible in the darker scenes. The sound is the same and there are no new extras.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Coen brothers' new show starts off in a bare little bar outside of Fargo, N.D. A dark plot is being hatched. The conspirators seem confused, antagonistic, none-too-bright. Soon we leave the bar and the title city, never to return for the rest of the movie.
So, why is the movie called "Fargo"? Maybe it's because that's where chaos starts. For the next 98 minutes, we watch a hapless, smiley, terminally nervous Minneapolis car salesman, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), try to settle some debts by engineering the kidnapping of his docile wife and wangling a ransom from his millionaire father-in-law. This scheme blows up in his face after he hires the wrong thugs in Fargo: Steve Buscemi as motormouth Carl Showalter and Peter Stormare as taciturn Gaear Grimsrud. The error soon results in a triple murder, with more deaths to come.
And we also watch local super-sleuth Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), the very pregnant police chief of the Minnesota town of Brainerd, as she relentlessly tracks them down.
"Fargo" may be taken from life -- somewhere -- but it also carries us back to the land of the Coen brothers, the deadpan jokesters of "Blood Simple," "Miller's Crossing" and "Barton Fink." It's a bizarre American terrain where killers, goofballs, ordinary people, amoral businessmen and sleazy lawyers race around like mice in a maze, or rats in a trap.
Like "Blood Simple," "Fargo" is a tale of a murder scheme unraveling at the seams. Yet there's a difference. The Coens are native Minnesotans, and here they guide us back into the territory of their youth, a region they know from life more than movies. The results are both gruesome and scintillating. This is one of the smartest American movies of the young year.
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