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

The 1996 Oscar-winning filmfarIt is not a faithful adaptation of true events, although the movie begins with a different title card. When it was released, some miners were searching 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 Chain Saw massacre [1974] is a famous example.)farhe only 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.farStar William H. Macy didn't like the lie either, telling the brothers, "You can't do that!" The Coens responded, "Why not?" Joel Coen hashe 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."

Dig 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?

emfar, William H. Macy plays a man named Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman who works for his father-in-law. Jerry needs cash and arranges to kidnap his wife Jean to collect an $80,000 ransom from his father. After being pulled over by a state officer for a minor infraction, the kidnappers kill the officer and two witnesses and take Jean 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.

farculminating in one of his most memorable moments: the lumberjack scene. A policeman catches up with the kidnappers in a remote shack. Outside, one of the kidnappers causes a bloody mess and disposes of Jean's body through a wood chipper. Unfortunately, that lumberjack scene is the part based on the Helle Crafts murder.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (2)

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 a life together, eventually having three children. Helle and Richard continued to work while raising their children.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (3)

em 1985 hellediscovered 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 a 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 told her P.I.she thought richardia matá-la.

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.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (4)

Andmany 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 Crafts' home on December 26. During the search, investigators found that portions of the carpet in the Crafts' master bedroom had been removed.

(Video) Fargo - The "True" Story

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

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (5)

So a local snowplow driverhe came forward and said that on November 19 he saw a wood chipper parked in a nearby lake. When the police searched the area where the crusher was parked, they found a large amount of evidence that Helle Craft's body had been driven through the crusher. This included blood, tooth and nail fragments, 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 disposed of her remains in the lake with a wood chipper under cover of a heavy storm. of snow. The freezer he bought was never found.

A coroner proved that the frozen body by the lumberjack theory was plausible (and probable) by freezing the body of a pig, placing it in a lumberjack, and comparing the fragments to evidence found at the lakeside crime scene.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (6)

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

The murder of Helle Crafts was the subject of the first episode of the hit 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 who was on the floor. And I think she was her 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. You do not know that? And here you are, and it's a beautiful day. Good. It's just that I don't understand.

Marge Gunderson on the kidnapper/killer in Fargo

frequent questions

Outsidefaris an absolute classic, we thought we'd answer a few more questions about the movie and the critically acclaimed TV series it inspired.

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (7)

how many oscarsfargain?

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

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

What is the famous quote from the movie?far?

farIt's one of the most quotable movies of all time, so it's hard to pin down just one line or say people will stick with it. More often than not, it's the pleasant Minnesota accent that people are most likely to remember (no matter how exaggerated the accent is). Yet every time you mention itfarYou'll probably get a lot of "oh yeah," "dapper," and "actual products" in response.

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

Becausefarpretends 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 not accept. Also one of the wildest scenes, the lumberjack scene,fezit actually happened (sort of), so claiming that the whole story is true is probably also a joke. This type of humor is perfectly suited to the style of the Coen brothers.

What does the title mean?farmean?

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

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

First, Fargo is the town where Jerry hires the men to kidnap his wife, so it could be argued that the dramaActuallyIt starts in Fargo. Also, according to Ethan Coen himself, "Fargo" sounds better than "Brainerd".

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (9)

Who was the victim in the field infar?

In the film's credits, the "Victim in the Field" is only mentioned as being the voice of symbol #2next to you with a little face drawn in a circle. Prince made a special appearance onfarLike a victim face down in the snow? No she did not. The film's character as the victim in the field is J. Todd Anderson, a storyboard artist who was a friend of the Coen brothers. The credit is an inside joke between Anderson and the Coens.

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

Who found the money in the snow?far?

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

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

How accurate is it?far¿Show?

ofarThe 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 is set in the same fictional universe as the movie.

(Video) True Story Behind "Fargo"

YfarIs season 1 really a true story?

Like the movie, the claim that thefarThe series is a true story is false. Executive Producer Noah HawleyIt isfrom the series "everything invented". The fact that everything is made up applies to every season.far.

meet the author

Chrissy Stockton

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

Is Fargo (1996) based on a true story? (11)

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


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