Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (2023)

The 1996 Academy Award-winning filmfargoit is not a faithful adaptation of true events, although the film opens with a title card that says otherwise. When it was released, some Minnesotans were looking for a real briefcase full of money buried on the side of the road, as depicted in the film, not realizing that the Coen brothers had tricked them. Like many other movies. (The Texas Chainsaw massacre [1974] is a famous example.)fargoI just said that it was based on a true crime as a storytelling technique to engage the audience.

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If you're a little upset that the writer/director lied directly to the audience, you're not alone.fargoStar William H. Macy also disliked the outright lie, telling the brothers, "You can't do that!" The Coens responded, "Why not?" joel coen didhe explained his reasoning like this"When an audience believes something is based on a real event, it gives them permission to do things they wouldn't otherwise agree to."

Go deeper, the Coensterthey said they were inspired by a real crime, but then created completely false characters and stories about how the crime happened. according to the movieDVD special edition, this true crime is the particularly gruesome murder of a woman named Helle Crafts.

What's going on in Fargo?

emfargo, William H. Macy plays a man named Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman who works for his father-in-law. Jerry needs money and arranges to have his wife Jean kidnapped for an $80,000 ransom from his father. After being stopped by a state trooper for a minor infraction, the kidnappers kill the policeman and two witnesses and take Jean away in the trunk. Jerry tells his father that the ransom is actually $1 million and the kidnappers capture the money in a shootout that kills Jerry's father-in-law. One of the kidnappers buries most of the money along the road to convince his partner that the ransom is still only $80,000. Jean is killed by one of the kidnappers for being too loud.

fargoculminating in one of his most memorable moments: the lumberjack scene. A police officer catches up with the kidnappers at a remote cabin. Outside, one of the kidnappers causes a bloody mess, disposing of Jean's body with a wood chipper. Unfortunately, that lumberjack scene is the part based on the Helle Crafts murder.

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The true story that inspired Fargo

In 1979, a Danish flight attendant named Helle Lorck Nielsen married a pilot she met at work, Richard Crafts. The young couple bought a house in Newtown, Connecticut to start their life together and eventually had three children. Both Helle and Richard continued to work while raising their children.

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1985 holadiscovered that Richard had courted several other womenduring the wedding. She was also tired of living with her anger. The following year, Helle hired a divorce lawyer and private investigator. In September 1986, P.I. I got pictures of Richard Crafts kissing another flight attendant.

On November 18, 1986, Helle Crafts was being driven home from work by friends. She was tired after working on a long flight from Europe. It was the last time anyone saw Helle Crafts. Helle previously told a friend: "If something happens to me, don't think it was an accident."she thought richardwanted to kill her.

When asked about Helle's absence, Richard apologized. He said Helle is visiting her family in her native Denmark or is on vacation with friends. Finally, on December 1, 1986, Helle Crafts was reported missing.

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Asmany Others Killer, Richard Crafts was a part-time police officer. His police friends didn't think he was interested in the murder of his wife. Private investigator Keith Mayo, hired by Helle, requested the Newtown Police Department to investigate Richard for Helle's murder, but they refused. Eventually, the Connecticut State Police took up the case and conducted a search of the Crafts' home on December 26. During the search, investigators discovered that portions of the Craft's master bedroom carpet had been removed.

(Video) Fargo - The "True" Story

Further investigation revealed that Crafts's maid remembered cleaning up a bloodstain in Crafts' room at the time Helle disappeared. She also told police that the removed pieces of carpet were already stained. Investigating Richard's banking operations, the police discovered that he had purchased a chainsaw, a freezer, and rented a wood chipper.

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Then a local snowplow driverHe came forward and said that on November 19, he saw a wood chipper parked by a nearby lake. When the police searched the area where the wood chipper was parked, they found much evidence that Helle Craft's body had been pushed by the wood chipper. This included blood, fragments of teeth and nails, and hair. These fragments were all that was left of Helle's body. Richard Crafts' chainsaw was found in the lake with hair and blood on the chain that matched Helle's. Richard is believed to have murdered his wife in her bedroom and then froze her body, dismembered her with a chainsaw, and dumped her remains in the lake with a wood chipper under cover of heavy snow. The freezer he bought was never found.

A coroner proved the frozen body of the lumberjack theory to be plausible (and probable) by freezing the body of a pig, passing it through a lumberjack, and comparing the fragments to evidence found at the lake crime scene.

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The vast amount of forensic evidence in this case was processed by Henry Lee, one of the world's most renowned forensic scientists and a former investigator for the Connecticut State Police. Lee was the host ofEvidence Trail: Dr. Henry Lee's Case Fileson TruTV. Thanks to Lee's work, the state of Connecticut was able to hold Richard Crafts accountable for his actions. Richard Crafts was the first person convicted of murder in Connecticut in a case where there was no body.

The murder of Helle Crafts was the subject of the first part of the true crime series.forensic filesinterview forensic scientists and law enforcement experts involved in crime scene prosecution and homicide case solving. The show was originally titledmedical detectives. In January 2020, Richard Crafts was released from prison after serving 31 years of his 50-year sentence.

So it was Mrs. Lundegaard there on the floor. And I suspect that she was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And these three people at Brainerd. And for what? For little money? There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here you are, and it's a beautiful day. So. I just don't understand.

Marge Gunderson on the kidnappers/killers in Fargo

frequent questions

Fromfargois an all-time classic, we thought we'd answer a few more questions about the movie and the critically acclaimed TV series it inspired.

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How many Oscars do you have?fargogain?

fargoit won two Academy Awards at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997: Frances McDormand won for Best Actress and Joel and Ethan Coen won for Best Original Screenplay.

(Video) Fargo the real story of the true story.

What is the famous line from the movie?fargo?

fargoit's one of the most quotable movies of all time, so it's hard to point to or say just one sentence that people would understand. For the most part, it's the pleasant Minnesota accent that people will probably remember the most (no matter how over-the-top the accent is). Yet every time you mention itfargoYou'll likely get a lot of "oh yeah," "of course," and "actual products" responses.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (8)

Becausefargopretends to be a true story?

As mentioned earlier in the introduction to this article, Joel Coen had the idea that if you say a movie is true, you can get away with wilder scenarios that people might write off. Also one of the craziest scenes, the lumberjack scene,tattooit actually happened (sort of), so claiming that the whole story is true is probably also a joke. This type of humor fits perfectly with the style of the Coen brothers.

What does the title mean?fargomean?

Fargo is the name of a city in North Dakota. So why call the movie?fargowhen most of the movie takes place in Brainerd, Minnesota? There are two reasons.

(Video) 7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Fargo!

First of all, Fargo is the town where Jerry hires the men to kidnap his wife, so it's arguable that the dramaActuallyIt starts in Fargo. According to Ethan Coen himself, "Fargo" sounds better than "Brainerd".

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Who was the victim in the field infargo?

In the film's credits, "Victim in the Field" is listed under Prince's name only.Symbol of love #2that is displayed on your page with a smiley face drawn in a circle. Prince made a cameo?fargolike a victim hidden in the snow? No she did not. The character in the film as Victim in the Field is J. Todd Anderson, a storyboard artist who was a friend of the Coen brothers. The credit is a sham between Anderson and the Coens.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (10)

Who found the money in the snow?fargo?

In the movie, no one finds the money in the briefcase. Carl (Steve Buscemi) is alone as he buries most of the $1 million ransom on the side of the road and is killed before he can get it back. The film ends with the money presumably still lying in the snow.

But in the first season offargo TV, a character named Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) discovers the money days after his funeral in 1987. Milos uses the money to become "Minnesota's Supermarket King."

how accurate is itfargo¿Show?

OfargoThe TV series is not a remake of the movie. Instead, the show is an anthology series, with each season focusing on different crimes in different time periods and locations. However, the show takes place in the same fictional universe as the movie.

(Video) True Story Behind "Fargo"

YfargoIs season 1 really a true story?

Like the movie, the claim that thefargoThe series is a true story is false. Executive Producer Noah Hawleythesefrom the series, "everything is made up". The fact that everything is composed applies to all seasons.fargo.

meet the author

Chrissy Stockton

Chrissy is a co-founder of Creepy Catalog. She has more than 10 years of experience writing about horror, has a degree in philosophy and is certified in Reiki Level II.

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(Video) Fargo: The Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand interview (1997)


1. The True Story that Inspired Fargo
(Mr. Dark Time)
2. Fargo (1996) | Official Trailer | MGM Studios
3. True Story Movies That Were Actually Lying To You
4. Fargo - Film Analysis
(Cinemacrest Studios)
5. Fargo - Connected - I'm cooperating - darn tooting
6. How Fargo’s Fake Treasure Created A Bizarre Urban Legend - True Fiction
(GameSpot Universe)
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