Stranger Than Fiction: The Truth of Fargo (2023)

Vonyo shield· Published on April 20, 2017

"You don't have to have a true story to make a movie with a true story."

Noah Hawleyacclaimed Midwestern crime anthologyfarreturns to FX this week, along with my excitement to sayoh indeedmiYour betsFor anyone who dares to talk to me when I prefer to lookfar. In my defense there isNot one, but two gloriously bad Ewan McGregor wigs. Truly, Hawley is doing the Lord's work. Season 3 is set in the not too distant past of 2010 and follows the tried and true template ofa ridiculously stacked setof charming (and miserably misguided) people who never get along and gradually give way to a shit show of their own design. As in each of the previous deliveries, less than allcoen brothers' Original film from 1996, the opening of this week's episode has the following overlay:

This is a true story. The events described occurred in Minnesota in [year]. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest is told exactly as it happened.

Stranger Than Fiction: The Truth of Fargo (1)

(Video) Fargo's Truth is Stranger than Truth Stranger than Fiction

oh damn fargo it's wrong, wrap it up

This statement, as in all incarnations, is bullshit.farit is, like the lower case of the credits, a fiction. Full disclosure: my gullible ass didn't even bother to check this until halfway through the first season of the FX series. It's an oversight I sharelarge part two reviewerswho saw Coen's original, bypassed the then-nascent internet, and spread what Joel and Ethan probably thought no one but the very dense would fall for (see: honest). That it was possible to be fooled, or at least unsafe, is a testament to the effectiveness of a film thatcita a ethan, "to pretend to trust".

Like most fiction, samples from the Coens' booksfarcome from real events: more clearly, the„Woodchipper Murder“ de Helle Craftsmi,joel mar, a real-life case of "a man... who tampers with car serial numbers and defrauds General Motors Finance Corporation." not to sayfaris somethingAbuse of Biopic Artistic Licensebecause its inspiration has some connections with real events; according to this logicinThe movie would require some sort of pre-show disclaimer. Rather,farVonrealLoyalty is much less interesting than it isNaturallyLoyalty; that the coenoy Hawley, made availablefarthe narrative with aobviousauthority of the truth Or, as Ethan explained in a recent interview withThe Huffington Post dies:: “We wanted to make a film only in the genre of a true story. You don't have to have a true story to make a movie with a true story.

That's not the truth - that's somethingfeelingslike the truth; the itch on the back of the head that sayswait... maybe that really happened.It's a frustratingly charming invitation to voluntarily enter a cinematic reality; to give you a place in what you think is possible. Saying "yes" to such requests can be both charming and dangerous. I cannot speak of all the fictional cases that, asfar, pretend it's true — but I'd like to briefly review two of my favorites: found horror movies and their predecessor, the early modern travelogue.

(Video) Fargo - The "True" Story

'Fargo', 1996 (top); FX's "Fargo" Episode 1 Seasons 1, 2 and 3 (from left to right)

While defining the exact origin of the "true story" framing device is a bit murky, it was certainly honed during the unofficial fight from hell in an 18th century prison cell over the title of "first English novel". . In travel writing in particular, writers often claim to have received a bunch of letters, memoirs, or a scribbled testimonial that they were commissioned to publish. The device arguably worked for Daniel Defoe, author of his most famous novel,Robinson Crusoe,under the name of its eponymous protagonist. That shit in front of Lemony Snicket, coupled with the self-confessed tone and unmatched sense of realism,led many readers to believe that the book was arealtravel diaryas opposed to a fiction. Seven years laterCrusoe, published the famous baby boy Jonathan SwiftGulliver's Travels, where in an opening commentary the fictional publisher of the book parodied the alleged narrative veracity of Defoe's Bejesus. In it, Swift claims that her "old and intimate friend", Mr. Gulliver, bequeathed to her the following papers, and "there is an air of apparent truth in all this; and indeed the author was so distinguished for his veracity that he became a brief proverb among her neighbors. While a part of me craves so many little subtweets, the 18th century was a bad time to be a writer. Although, by the way, some women likeAfra BehnmiEliza Haywood, managed to create a comfortable distance between the content of his works and contemporary prejudices by framing his novels as historical facts. For women writers of the day, ascribing authority to the veracity of her fiction meant more than building a narrative world or tonal realism: it forced her readers to see her work as valid and noteworthy. It's a power that less noble, more chilling, more horror-focused works would harness.

Left — Orson Welles checking damage after The War of the Worlds aired; Right — some choice words in the movie trailer for “Cannibal Holocaust”

For better or worse, found footage horror is aStraightit descends from the aforementioned high rate of the early modern period. An offspring you privately loathe and perhaps leave out of the will, but the point remains: either way, if you believe your fiction, it puts money in your pocket. Listen, we could be civilized connoisseursthe boom ¿ footage found ¿ 21st centuryand talk about sweets likeRECORDING, thugs likethe fourth boy,or old asThe Blair Witch Project. Or we can talk about it.Cannibal holocaust,that I'll be sitting heretic at a table with Orson Welleswar two worldsdue to their shared interest in gaining a "sense of truth" through their medium. But wherethe jury is outonethe detailsof the chaos evoked by Welles —Cannibal holocaustIt is a different story and with a moral.

The found footage pioneer follows a team of American filmmakers to the Amazon Basin to recover a documentary crew that went missing while filming cannibalistic tribes. Both the amateur documentary style of the film within the film and the use of real indigenous actors (that's another can of worms) has led many to suspect that it doesCannibal holocaustIt was a true snuff film, a rumor that director Ruggero Deodato was struggling to dispel. probably didn't helpsergio leoneDeodato wrote a prophetic letter that concluded: "Everything seems so real that I think you will have problems with everyone." Ten days after his Milan debut, Deodato was faced with a director's dream scenario: profanity and murder accusations. He helped get the four leads under contract to go into hiding for a year to watch the promotional flames for "Are the actors really dead?NO. No no. Although the actors broke their contract and Deodato was cleared of murder charges, the film was madeit doescontains somethingvery real and very graphic violence against animalswhich was arguably light on Deodato, his producers, the screenwriter, and his representative from United Artistsfour month ban. Still, if there is a dark side to cinematic veracity,Cannibal holocausthe is a contender.

. . .

(Video) Fargo and the Truth of Storytelling -TheRedCap

FurniturefarUsing a narrative structure with a sense of truthfulness, Hawley and the Coens invite viewers to confirm improbable events — to ascend to a world that can contain both the dogged courage of Marge and Molly and the chaotic violence of Malvo and the Gerhardts. Therefore, the plausibility must be checked.farHis fiction consists of harboring a peculiar and restless paradox: an exotic simplicity, a good-natured austerity. It's a strain that is at home both in the larger Coen canon and in the adjacent space Hawley created for himself. I danced around the termaccuracy, owned by Stephen Colbert. Of course, the impulse to get angry over something that is pretended to be true without any real basis is valid. What ultimately distinguishes and, in my opinion, redeemsfarThe veracity of is his playful version of this structure, his relentless commitment to the bit, his ironic invitation to validate an implausible comedy of errors. There's that encouraging and surprising paradox again: "incredible stories that occasionally turn out to be true.“

farSeason 3 airs on Wednesdays on FX.

Related topics:crime,make a movie,Policy

Stranger Than Fiction: The Truth of Fargo (2)

Meg Shields is the humble farmer of her dreams and a senior staff member of Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That? and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer. Meg can scream about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here:@LaPeorMonja. (she she).

(Video) The True Story that Inspired Fargo

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


    Is there any truth to Fargo series? ›

    Is Fargo Season 1 really a true story? Like the movie, the claim that the Fargo series is a true story is false. Executive producer Noah Hawley has said of the series, “it's all just made up.” The fact that it's all made up is true for every season of Fargo.

    Why does Fargo say its true story when its not? ›

    In the beginning of the film Fargo, it states “THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

    What is the true Fargo story? ›

    The other event Fargo was purportedly inspired by was a murder in Connecticut, "where a man killed his wife and disposed of the body -- put her into a woodchipper." This refers to the murder of Helle Crafts in 1947, and while it is what Peter Stormare's character does at the end of Fargo, it again is just one small ...

    Is season 4 of Fargo Based on a true story? ›

    Every episode of “Fargo” starts with a claim that it's based on a true story, but of course it is not. Hawley says the new season is not inspired by any real Kansas City mob history.

    Who is Lorne Malvo based on? ›

    Martin Freeman's Lester Nygaard and Billy Bob Thornton's Lorne Malvo are completely fictional.

    Is Fargo series 1 really a true story? ›

    However, neither the movie nor the TV show are actually based on true events. In a 2014 interview, the show's executive producer Noah Hawley clarified the "true story" episode introductions by saying "the show.... It's all just made up.

    Who is the real Lester Nygaard? ›

    Lester Nygaard
    Based onJerry Lundegaard of Fargo by Joel and Ethan Coen
    Portrayed byMartin Freeman
    In-universe information
    OccupationLife insurance salesman
    7 more rows

    Was the money in Fargo ever found? ›

    But what happened to the money? After Carl's brutal execution at the hands of his partner, he was never able to retrieve his stash. That's right — he left almost $1 million buried in the snow at the side of a road in the middle of nowhere.

    What happened to Jerry Lundegaard? ›

    The police arrive at the motel, but Jerry tries to escape through a window. However, the policemen restrain him onto a bed and arrest him. He is put in prison for a long sentence, given his role in the kidnapping.

    Who was the real hitman in Fargo? ›

    Lorne Malvo is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the first season of the FX television series Fargo.
    Lorne Malvo
    Portrayed byBilly Bob Thornton
    In-universe information
    AliasesDuluth Dr. Michaelson Saint Paul Frank Peterson
    OccupationContract killer
    6 more rows

    Is Fargo 1987 Based on a true story? ›

    No, it's not a true story

    Although the film begins with the preface saying otherwise, the plot is pure fiction. Before the opening credits roll, audiences are greeted with the following: “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987.

    Why is Fargo called Fargo? ›

    Even though the movie takes place mostly in Brainerd, Minnesota, the Coen brothers decided to call it Fargo, which is in North Dakota, just because they liked the sound of it for a title better than Brainerd, which "was not cool enough." Fargo is where Jerry Lundegaard meets the two hoods he hires to kidnap his wife.

    Who is the butcher of luverne? ›

    Ed is a butcher and the devoted husband of Peggy Blumquist. They live together in their hometown of Luverne, a small city in Minnesota. Ed is perfectly content with their life and believes that he is tracking well, with plans to buy the butcher shop where he works.

    Who is Oraetta Mayflower based on? ›

    While "Angel of Death" Oraetta Mayflower on "Fargo" is a fictional character, Orville Lynn Majors is a real-life killer nurse who shares the same eerie moniker — and he's not the only murderous hospital worker out there. Nurses are always here to help patients live ...

    Was Fargo actually filmed in Fargo? ›

    While none of Fargo was actually filmed in Fargo, the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau exhibits original script copies and several props used in the film, including the wood chipper prop.

    Is Lorne Malvo an anagram? ›

    He's Lorne Malvo, almost an anagram for malevolent and he lives up to his name. Still, one of the admirable aspects of so many FX series — “Justified,” “The Americans,” “American Horror Story” — is that the producers aren't afraid to make their bad guys and gals charismatic.

    What is Lorne Malvo backstory? ›

    Lorne Malvo is a main character and an antagonist in Fargo Season 1. Before his demise, Malvo was a manipulative contract killer and conman based out of Reno, Nevada, who eventually stumbled into Lester Nygaard at the hospital after Lester received a facial injury caused by Sam Hess.

    What was the riddle Gus figured out in Fargo? ›

    When he quizzed then-policeman Gus Grimly, “Why can the human eye see more shades of green than any other color?” he was making a biological point: that humans are predators, evolved for a certain kind of behavior, and ignoring this fact is foolish for anyone, especially a cop, to ignore.

    Will there be a season 5 of Fargo? ›

    When will Fargo season five be released? No release date has been announced, but the new season is expected to arrive in 2023. Filming is already well underway, having begun in October 2022.

    How true is Fargo season 3? ›

    Fargo Season 3 is not based on a true story. The Coen brothers used the disclaimer as a storytelling device for the movie, and so has Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley.

    Why did Jerry need the money in Fargo? ›

    Jerry was inventing phony car sales that needed phony loans. He collected money from the people, but when he sent the paperwork to GMAC, the loan company, he purposely blurred the VIN numbers of the supposed cars. That way GMAC was unable to verify the sales of the cars and how much of a loan the buyers needed.

    Why was Marvin Stussy killed in Fargo? ›

    He was murdered by Meemo on orders of V.M. Varga.

    Who kills Lester Nygaard? ›

    The final showdown between Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard ended up a bit of a draw: Nygaard bloodied Malvo's leg with a bear trap while Malvo bloodied Nygaard's nose by hurling an object at his face. In the end, they both died by other hands.

    What happened to Lester at the end of Fargo? ›

    Malvo and Lester both came to bad ends, but neither at Molly's hand. Lester falls through a hole in the ice, having bested Malvo, his master-in-murder, and Malvo is killed by Molly's very sweet husband, Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), a secondary character who, at the last minute, becomes the hero of the show.

    What is the last line of Fargo? ›

    Two more months.” The last line of Fargo refers to the impending arrival of a baby: the countdown to a new life being brought into the world.

    Who hid the money in Fargo? ›

    In fact, it's the same snowy field and fence where kidnapper Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) buried close to $1 million in cash for later retrieval. Carl met an untimely demise, but now fans know what happened to that money — Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) used it on his way to becoming the Supermarket King.

    How much money was in the briefcase in Fargo? ›

    Last night's episode of FX's Fargo began in 1987, when a young Stavros and his family run out of gas along the side of the road. He asks God for help and then spots a lone red ice scraper standing in the snow. Beneath it, he finds a briefcase that by then we know is filled with exactly $920,000 in cash.

    What happened to Jerry Lundegaard wife? ›

    She was the wife of Jerry Lundegaard and the victim of his ill-fated kidnapping scheme.
    Jean Lundegaard.
    Family:Wade Gustafson - Father Jerry Lundegaard - Husband Scotty Lundegaard - Son
    Died:February 3-5 or afterwards 1987
    Fate:Killed by Gaear Grimsrud
    7 more rows

    Who bullied Lester in Fargo? ›

    Samuel "Sam" Hess is a major antagonist in the TV series Fargo. He was the owner of a trucking company in Bemidji, Minnesota. He had ties to the Fargo Crime Syndicate and was also the childhood bully of Lester Nygaard. He was portrayed by Kevin O'Grady.

    What happened to Molly in Fargo? ›

    Tolman, the breakout newcomer of the first "Fargo" series that became a major hit this spring, played Detective Molly Solverson and survived the whole show, in the end marrying Colin Hanks's former policeman Gus Grimley.

    Is the deaf guy in Fargo really deaf? ›

    Actor Russell Harvard, the kinetic presence behind Mr. Wrench, was born deaf. He's been acting since he was a child.

    How did Malvo get out of the basement? ›

    He was in a basement and they usually have a slit or a small window. When Lester was looking at the poaster, you can see that behind him there was a window. When Malvo heard the police van, he escaped like he was supposed to.

    What happened in 1987 in Minnesota? ›

    A highly localized and nearly stationary severe thunderstorm complex, barely larger than a typical Minnesota county, lashed the Twin Cities area for over eight hours on July 23-24, 1987, producing tornadoes, thunderstorm winds of 60-80 mph, and prolonged extreme rainfall rates that led to the most significant flash- ...

    Is there a place called Fargo? ›

    Fargo (/ˈfɑɹɡoʊ/) is a city in and the county seat of Cass County, North Dakota, United States. According to the 2020 census, its population was 125,990, making it the most populous city in the state and the 219th-most populous city in the United States.

    What's the meaning of Fargo? ›

    a large and densely populated urban area; may include several independent administrative districts.

    Why was Marge pregnant in Fargo? ›

    Marge married to Norm Gunderson after meeting on the force with him. Norm decided to quit his job to take up painting and ice fishing and became pregnant with her first child in July 1986.

    What is the most said word in Fargo? ›

    "Aw, Geez."

    Out of all the quotes found in Fargo, this one is the most enduring. It summarizes both the comedic and dark nature of the series, as the simplistic nature of the characters clashes with the violence they're a part of.

    What is the ethnicity of Fargo? ›

    Female persons, percent 49.7%
    Race and Hispanic Origin
    White alone, percent 82.5%
    Black or African American alone, percent(a) 8.0%
    57 more rows

    Who is Lester Nygaard based on? ›

    Jerry Lundegaard

    Why is Fargo series so good? ›

    This is an anthology series that was inspired by the 1996 film where each season follows a new murder story in some Midwest town with a different cast every season. It has the same feel, style, dark humor, unpredictability, etc as the film did.

    Are Fargo episodes connected? ›

    The show is an anthology series set in and around Fargo, North Dakota. Each season follows it's very own cast of characters and tells a story of its own, usually involving local law enforcement, kindly mid-western folk, and crimes gone wrong.

    What does Lorne Malvo stand for? ›

    I would also add that his name, Lorne Malvo, sounds pretty evil. Lorne obviously sounds like Lord. Malvo contains the prefix 'mal' witch is closely associated with the concept of evil in the Latin Languages, examples: 'malo' in Spanish and 'malus' in Latin meaning evil. So, Lord Evil!

    What season of Fargo is the best? ›

    100% Critics Consensus: Season two of Fargo retains all the elements that made the series an award-winning hit, successfully delivering another stellar saga powered by fascinating characters, cheeky cynicism, and just a touch of the absurd.

    Is Fargo better than True Detective? ›

    Fargo is one of the most quirky and interesting shows out there, it's characters, stories, and ideas are much less cliche than the simple (if not well done) cat and mouse plot of True Detective. What impressed you the most when you watched True Detective season 1?

    Why is the show Fargo called Fargo? ›

    Even though the movie takes place mostly in Brainerd, Minnesota, the Coen brothers decided to call it Fargo, which is in North Dakota, just because they liked the sound of it for a title better than Brainerd, which "was not cool enough." Fargo is where Jerry Lundegaard meets the two hoods he hires to kidnap his wife.

    Where is Fargo filmed? ›

    Filming. Fargo was filmed during the winter of 1995, mainly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and around Pembina County, North Dakota.

    What year is Fargo set in? ›

    "Fargo" is a reality-based crime drama set in Minnesota in 1987. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a car salesman in Minneapolis who has gotten himself into debt and is so desperate for money that he hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi), (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his own wife.

    Does Fargo have a good ending? ›

    The movie ends with a corny but sincere vision of happiness and security. The Gundersons are getting it right in a way that Jerry, Carl, and Gaear simply never understood.

    Should I watch Fargo in order? ›

    It has been extremely successful, winning three Golden Globes, among 56 award wins and hundreds of nominations. And because this is an anthology, you can dive into any of the three earlier seasons, in any order.

    Do you have to watch Fargo series in order? ›

    Do you need to watch the first three? No. You have no homework to do. That's one of the benefits of an anthology series like “Fargo” for viewers.

    What is the connection between Fargo season 1 and 2? ›

    Season two is a prequel of sorts to the first season, focusing on Minnesota state trooper Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) and a horrific crime in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1979, in which he gets caught up. An older Lou (Keith Carradine) and other characters refer to it several times in season one.


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