Fargo (film)

1996 film directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

Fargo is a 1996 film about an inept car salesman's attempted crime which falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistence of a pregnant police officer.

Directed by Joel Coen. Written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
Small town. Big crime. Dead cold. Taglines

Opening Text

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.

Marge Gunderson

  • [on the phone] Oh my. Where? Yeah? Aw geez. Okay, there in a jif. Real good, then.
  • [after her husband, Norm, kisses her] Ya got Arby's all over me.
  • [repeated line] Mind if I sit down? I'm carrying quite a load here.
  • So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, I just don't understand it.

Jerry Lundegaard

  • [Practices calling Wade] Yah, Wade, It's Jerry, I... Yah, Wade, it's, I, it's Jerry... I don't know what to do it's Jean. I don't know what to do it's my wife. I don't know what to do it's Jean. Wade, it's Jerry, I... Wade, it's Jerry! We gotta talk! Oh, geez, it's terrible... [calls the number] Yah, Wade Gustafson, please.
  • I answered the darn - I'm cooperating here!

Carl Showalter

  • Would you crack the fuckin' window open, man. You know, it's proven that second-hand smoke is, uh, carcin-... uh, you know, a cancer agent.
  • Keep it still back there, lady, or else we're gonna have to, ya know, to shoot ya.
  • Just in town on business. Just in and out. Ha. Just a little of the old in-and-out.
  • Shep! What the hell are you doing! I was bangin' that girl!
  • Stay away from me, man! Hey, go smoke a fuckin' peace pipe!


  • Gaear Grimsrud: You're a smooth, smoothie, yah know?
  • Wade Gustafson: It's my money. I'll deliver it - what do they care?...They want my money, they can deal with me.
  • Wade Gustafson: Look, Jerry, you're not selling me a damn car. It's my show here.
  • Mike Yanagita: Ya know, it's the Radisson, so it's pretty good.
  • Mike Yanagita: So ya went and married Norm Son-of-a-Gunderson!
  • Shep Proudfoot: [beating Carl violently] Fucking little fucking weasel! Fuck you! You fucking motherfucking son of a fucking bitching fucking cunt! Jesus fucking Christ you fucking shitfuckbag motherfucker!


[Jerry meets Carl and Grimsrud sitting at the bar]
Jerry: I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard.
Carl: You're Jerry Lundegaard?
Jerry: Yah. Shep Proudfoot said--
Carl: Shep said you'd be here at 7:30. What gives now?
Jerry: [confused] Shep said 8:30.
Carl: We've been sitting here an hour. He’s peed three times already.
Jerry: Ah, I'm terribly sorry. Shep told me 8:30. It was a mix-up, I guess.
Carl: You got the car?
Jerry: Yah, you bet! It's in the lot there. Brand-new burnt umber Ciera.
Carl: Yeah, okay, well, sit down then. [Jerry takes a seat] I'm Carl Showalter and this is my associate Gaear Grimsrud.
Jerry: Yah, how ya doin'. So, we all set on this thing, then?
Carl: Sure, Jerry, we're all set. Why wouldn't we be?
Jerry: Yah, no, I'm sure you are. Shep vouched for you and all. I got every confidence in you fellas. [smiles at Grimsrud] So, I guess that's it, then. Here are the keys...
Carl: No, that's not it, Jerry.
Jerry: Huh?
Carl: The new vehicle, plus forty thousand dollars.
Jerry: Yah, but the deal was, the car first, see, then the forty thousand, like as if it was the ransom. I thought Shep told ya?
Carl: Shep didn't tell us much, Jerry.
Jerry: Well, okay...
Carl: Except that you were gonna be here at 7:30.
Jerry: Yah, well, that was a mix-up, then.
Carl: Yeah, you already said that.
Jerry: Yah. But it's not a whole pay-in-advance deal. I give you a brand-new vehicle in advance and--
Carl: I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry.
Jerry: Okay.
Carl: I'm not gonna sit here and debate. I will say this though, what Shep told us didn't make a whole lot of sense.
Jerry: Oh, no, it's real sound. It's all worked out.
Carl: You want your own wife kidnapped?
Jerry: Yah.
Carl: You... My point is, you pay the ransom what eighty thousand bucks? I mean, you give us half the ransom, forty thousand, you keep half. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul, it doesn't make any sense.
Jerry: [laughs] Okay, see, it's not me payin' the ransom. The thing is, my wife, she's wealthy. Her dad, he's real well off. Now, I'm in a bit of trouble--
Carl: What kinda trouble are you in, Jerry?
Jerry: Well, that's... that's... I'm not go inta, inta... see, I just need money. Now, her dad's real well off.
Carl: So? Why don't you just ask him for the money?
Grimsrud: Or your fucking wife, you know.
Carl: Or your fucking wife, Jerry?
Jerry: Well, it's all just part of this... They don't know I need it, see. Okay, so there's that. And even if they did, I wouldn't get it. So there's that on top, then. See, these're personal matters.
Carl: Personal matters?
Jerry: Yah. Personal matters that needn't, uh...
Carl: Okay, Jerry. You're tasking us to perform this mission, but you, you won't, uh, you won't... Aw, fuck it, let's take a look at that Ciera.

Jerry: - I'm the executive sales manager.
Marge: - Yah, but I understand...
Jerry: - We run a pretty tight ship here.
Marge: - I know, but how do they establish that? Are the cars counted daily, or what kind of a routine here?
Jerry: Ma'am! I answered your question.
Marge: - I'm sorry, sir?
Jerry: - Ma'am, I answered your question.
Jerry: I answered the darn damn good question ... I'm cooperating here, and there's no...
Marge: Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me. I'm just doing my job here.
Jerry: Ok ...
Marge: ookie --

Scotty: [finishing supper] May I be excused?
Jerry: Ya done, there?
Scotty: Yah. Can I go out?
Jean: Where ya goin'?
Scotty: Just to McDonald's.
Jerry: Be back at 9:30.
Wade: He just ate - he didn't finish! He's goin' to MAC-Donalds instead of finishin' here.
Jean: He sees his friends there. It's okay.
Wade: It's okay? Whaddya think they do there? They don't drink milkshakes, I assure you.
Jean: It's okay, Dad!
Jerry: Wade, have ya had a chance to think about, uh, that deal I was talkin' about, those forty acres there on Wayzata?
Wade: You told me about it.
Jerry: Yah, you said you'd have a think about it. I understand it's a lot of money...
Wade: A heck of a lot. What'd you say you were gonna put there?
Jerry: A lot. It's a limited...
Wade: I know it's a lot.
Jerry: I mean a parking lot.
Wade: Yah, well, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars is a lot.
Jerry: Yah, well, it's a chunk, but...
Wade: I used to own a lot myself way back in the late '50's. It's a lotta money.
Jerry: Yah, well...
Wade: I thought you were gonna show it to Stan Grossman. He passes on this stuff before it gets kicked up to me.
Jerry: Well, you know Stan'll say no dice. That's why you pay him. I'm askin' you here, Wade. This could work out real good for me and Jean and Scotty.
Wade: Jean and Scotty'll never have to worry.

Grimsrud: Where is Pancakes House?
Carl: What?
Grimsrud: We stop at Pancakes House.
Carl: What are ya nuts? We had pancakes for breakfast. I want to go somewhere I can get a shot and a beer, and a steak, maybe. No more fuckin' pancakes, c'mon man. C'mon man! Okay here's an idea. We'll stop outside of Brainerd. I know a place there we can get laid. What do ya think?
Grimsrud: I'm fuckin' hungry now, you know!
Carl: Yeah, yeah. Jesus. I was just saying we could stop, get pancakes, and get laid.

Jerry: [pretending to talk to his "boss"] You goin' to the Gophers on Sunday?
Salesman: Oh you betchya.
Jerry: You wouldn't happen to have an extra ticket?
Salesman: You kidin'!?
[Jerry returns to the customer]
Jerry: Well... He never done this before, but seeing as it's special circumstances and all, he says I can knock a hundred dollars off that Trucoat.
Irate customer: One hundred... You lied to me, Mr Lundegaard. You're a bald-faced liar. A... fucking liar!
Customer's wife: Bucky, please.
Irate customer: Where's my goddamn check book? Lets get this over with.

Jerry: Say, Shep, how ya doin' there? Say, uh, ya know those two fellas ya put me in touch with up there in Fargo?
Shep: Put you in touch with Grimsrud.
Jerry: Yah, well, he had a buddy there. He, um...
Shep: I didn't vouch for him.
Jerry: Well, that's okay.
Shep: I vouch for Grimsrud. Who's his buddy?
Jerry: Uh, Carl somethin'?
Shep: Never heard of him. Don't vouch for him.
Jerry: Well, that's okay, he's a buddy of the guy ya vouched for, so I'm not worryin'. I just, I was wondering, see, I gotta get in touch with 'em for. See this deal I've been working on, I might not need it anymore, sumpn's happenin', see.
Shep: Call 'em up.
Jerry: Yah, well, see, I did that, and I haven't been able to get 'em, so I thought you maybe'd know an alternate number or what have you.
Shep: Nope.
Jerry: [optimistic] Okay! Well, real good, then.

[Carl and Gaear are driving into Minneapolis]
Carl: Hey, look at that. Twin Cities. That's the IDS Building, the big glass one. Tallest skyscraper in the Midwest - after the uh, Sears, in, uh, Chicago, or John Hancock Building, whatever. You ever been to Minneapolis?
Grimsrud: Nope.
Carl: Would it kill you to say something?
Grimsrud: I did.
Carl: "No." That's the first thing you've said in the last four hours. That's a, that's a fountain of conversation, man. That's a geyser. I mean, whoa, daddy, stand back, man. Shit. You know I'm sittin' here drivin', doin' all the drivin', man, the whole fuckin' way from Brainerd, drivin', just tryin' to chat, you know, keep our spirits up, fight the boredom of the road, and you can't say one fuckin' thing just in the way of conversation? Well, fuck it. I don't have to talk either, man. See how you like it. [Pause] Just total fuckin' silence. Two can play at that game, smart guy. We'll just see how you like it. Total silence.

Deifenbach: Mr. Lundegaard, this is Reilly Deifenbach calling from GMAC. How are you this morning?
Jerry: Yah, real good. How you doin'?
Deifenbach: Pretty good, Mr. Lundegaard. You're damned hard to get on the phone.
Jerry: Yah, it's pretty darned busy here, but that's the way we like it.
Deifenbach: That's for sure. Now, I just need, on these last, these financing documents you sent us, I can't read the serial numbers of the vehicles on here, so I--
Jerry: But I already got the, it's okay, the loans are in place, I already got the, the what, the--
Deifenbach: Yeah, the three hundred and twenty thousand, you got the money last month.
Jerry: Yah, so we're all set.
Deifenbach: Yeah, but the vehicles you were borrowing on, I just can't read the serial numbers on your application. Maybe if you could just read them to me--
Jerry: But the deal's already done, I already got the money.
Deifenbach: Yeah, but we have an audit here, I just have to know that these vehicles you're financing with this money, that they really exist.
Jerry: Yah, well, they exist all right.
Deifenbach: I'm sure they do, but I can't read their serial numbers here. So if you could read me--
Jerry: Well, but see... I don't have them in front of me. Why don't I just fax you over a copy?
Deifenbach: No. Fax is no good, that's what I have and I can't read the darn thing.
Jerry: Yah, okay, I'll have my girl send you over a copy, then.
Deifenbach: Okay, because if I can't correlate this note with the specific vehicles, then I gotta call back that money.
Jerry: Yah, how much money was that?
Deifenbach: Three hundred and twenty thousand. See, I gotta correlate that money with the cars it's being lent on.
Jerry: Yah, no problem, I'll just fax that over to ya, then.
Deifenbach: No, no, fax is--
Jerry: I mean send it over! I'll shoot it right over to ya.
Deifenbach: Okay.
Jerry: Okay, real good, then.

[In struggling to get Jean under control, she bites Gaear's right hand]
Gaear Grimsrud: [lifts up his mask and looks at the bite as Carl heads up the stairs behind Jean] Unguent.
Carl Showalter: What?!
Gaear Grimsrud: I need Unguent!

Jerry Lundegaard: How ya doin' there, Stan? How are ya, Wade?
Stan Grossman: Good to see ya again, Jerr'. If these numbers are right, this looks pretty sweet.
Jerry Lundegaard: Oh, those numbers are right, all right. Believe me.
Wade Gustafson: This is doable.
Stan Grossman: Congratulations, Jerry.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, thanks, Stan, it's a pretty--
Wade Gustafson: What kind of finder's fee were you looking for?
Jerry Lundegaard: Huh?
Stan Grossman: The financials are pretty thorough, so the only thing we don't know is your fee.
Jerry Lundegaard: My fee? Wade, what the heck're you talkin' about?
Wade Gustafson: Stan and I're okay.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
Wade Gustafson: We're good to loan in.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
Wade Gustafson: But we never talked about your fee for bringin' it to us.
Jerry Lundegaard: No, but, Wade, see, I was bringin' you this deal for you to loan me the money to put in. It's my deal here, see?
Stan Grossman: Jerry, we thought you were bringin' us an investment.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, right.
Stan Grossman: You're sayin'... What're you sayin'?
Wade Gustafson: You're sayin' that we put in all the money and you collect when it pays off?
[Wade and Stan laugh]
Jerry Lundegaard: No, no. I- I 'd, pay you back the principal, and interest. Heck, I'd go one over prime?
Stan Grossman: We're not a bank, Jerry.
Wade Gustafson: What the heck, Jerry, if I wanted bank interest on seven hundred fifty thousand I'd go to Midwest Federal. Talk to Bill Diehl.
Stan Grossman: He's at Norstar.
Wade Gustafson: He's at--
Jerry Lundegaard: No, see, I don't need a finder's fee, I need a... finder's fee's, what, ten percent? Heck, that's not gonna do it for me. I need the principal!
Stan Grossman: Jerry, we're not just going to give you seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars!
Wade Gustafson: What the heck were you thinkin'? Heck, if I'm only gettin' bank interest, I'd look for complete security. Heck, FDIC. I don't see nothin' like that here.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, but I... Okay, I would, I'd guarantee ya your money back.
Wade Gustafson: I'm not talkin' about your damn word, Jerry! Geez, what the heck're you--
Stan Grossman: We’re not a bank, Jerry.
Wade Gustafson: Well, look, I don't want to cut you out of the loop, but this here's a good deal. I assume, if you're not interested, you won't mind if we move on it. Independently.

Gaear Grimsrud: [to Jean] Shut the fuck up! Or I'll throw you back into the trunk, you know.
Carl Showalter: Geez. That's more'n I've heard you say all week.

State Trooper: This is a new car, then, sir?
Carl: It certainly is, officer. Still got that smell.

Marge: Okay, so we got a trooper pulls someone over, we got a shooting. These folks drive by, there's a high-speed pursuit, ends here, and then this execution-type deal.
Lou: Yah.
Marge: I'd be very surprised if our suspect was from Brainerd.
Lou: Yah!
Marge: And I'll tell you what, from his footprint he looks like a big fella... [bends over]
Lou: See somethin' down there, Chief?
Marge: No, I just think I'm gonna barf.
Lou: Geez. You okay there, Margie?
Marge: Yah, I'm fine. [stands up straight] It's just morning sickness. Well, that passed.
Lou: Oh yah?
Marge: Yah, now I'm hungry again.
Lou: You eat breakfast yet, Margie?
Marge: Oh yah. Norm made some eggs.
Lou: Yah? Well, what now d'ya think?
Marge: Lets go take a look at that trooper.

[Lou and Marge are driving away from the crime scene]
Lou: The last vehicle that the trooper cited was a tan Ciera at 2:18 AM. Under the plate number, he put DLR - I figure they stopped him or shot him before he could finish fillin' out the tag number... So I got the state lookin' for a Ciera with a tag startin' DLR. They don't got no match yet.
Marge: I'm not sure that I agree with you a hundred percent on your policework there, Lou.
Lou: Yah?
Marge: Yah. I think that vehicle there probably had dealer plates. DLR?
Lou: Oh... Geez.
Marge: Say Lou. Did ya hear the one about the guy who couldn't afford personalized plates, so he went and changed his name to J3L 2404?
Lou: Yah, that's a good one.

Stan Grossman: Okay. We'll get the money together. Don't worry about it, Jerry. Now, d'you want anyone at home, with you, until they call?
Jerry: No, I- they don't want- they're just s'posed to be dealin' with me, they were real clear. Ya know, they said no one listenin' in, they'll be watchin', ya know. Maybe it's all bull, but like you said, Stan, they're callin' the shots.
Stan Grossman: Okay. And Scotty, is he gonna be all right?
Jerry: Yah... Geez... Scotty. I'll go talk to him.

Jerry: How ya doin' there, Scotty?
Scotty: [crying] Dad... What're they doing? What do ya think they're doin' with Mom?
Jerry: It's okay, Scotty. They're not gonna want to hurt her any. These men... they just want money.
Scotty: What if... What if sumpn goes wrong, Dad?
Jerry: No, no, nothin's goin' wrong here. Grandad and I, we're- we're makin' sure this gets handled right.
Scotty: I really think we should call the cops, ya know.
Jerry: No. No one can know about this thing. We gotta play ball with these guys. You ask Stan Grossman, he'll tell ya the same thing!
Scotty: Yeah, but Dad--
Jerry: We're gonna get Mom back for ya, but we gotta play ball. Ya know, that's the deal. So if Lorraine calls, or Sylvia, you just say that Mom's down in Florida with Pearl and Marty. That's the best we can do here.

Hooker #2: Yeah, we both did. She went to college too.
Hooker #1: I went to Normandale for about a year'n-a-half.
Hooker #2: Yah, that's where we met.
Hooker #1: But I dropped out though.
Hooker #2: Yah, she dropped.
Hooker #1: Yah!
Marge: So, where you girls from?
Hooker #1: Chaska.
Hooker #2: Le Sueur. But I went to high school in White Bear Lake. Go Bears.
Marge: Okay. I want you to tell me what these fellas looked like.
Hooker #1: Well, the little guy, he was kinda funny-looking.
Marge: In what way?
Hooker #1: I dunno, just funny-lookin'.
Marge: Can you be any more specific?
Hooker #1: I couldn't really say. He wasn't circumcised.
Marge: Was he funny lookin' apart from that?
Hooker #1: Yeah.
Marge: So, you were having sex with the little fella then?
Hooker #1: Uh-huh.
Marge: Is there anything else you can tell me about him?
Hooker #1: No. Like I say, he was funny lookin'. More n' most people even.
Marge: And what about the other fella?
Hooker #2: He was a little older. You know, looked like the Marlboro man.
Marge: Oh yah?
Hooker #2: Yah. But maybe I'm sayin' that, you know, cause he smoked Marlboros.
Marge: Uh-huh.
Hooker #2: You know, like a subconscious-type thing.
Marge: Yah, that can happen.
Hooker #2: Yah.
Hooker #1: They said they were goin' to the Twin Cities?
Marge: Oh, yah?
Hooker #2: Yah!
Hooker #1: Yah. Is that useful to ya?
Marge: Oh, you betchya, yah.

[Jerry answers the phone at his office]
Jerry Lundegaard: Jerry Lundegaard.
Carl Showalter: All right, Jerry, you got this phone to yourself?
Jerry Lundegaard: Well... yah.
Carl Showalter: Know who this is?
Jerry Lundegaard: Well, yah, I got an idea. How's that Ciera workin' out for ya?
Carl Showalter: Circumstances have changed, Jerry.
Jerry Lundegaard: Well... what do ya mean?
Carl Showalter: Things have changed. Circumstances, Jerry. Beyond the, uh, acts of God, force majeure-
Jerry Lundegaard: What the... how's Jean?
Carl Showalter: Who's Jean?
Jerry Lundegaard: My wife! What the- how's...
Carl Showalter: Oh, Jean's okay, but there's three people up in Brainerd who aren't so okay, I'll tell ya that.
Jerry Lundegaard: What the heck're you talkin' about? Let's just finish up this deal here -
Carl Showalter: Blood has been shed, Jerry.
Jerry Lundegaard: What the heck ya mean?
Carl Showalter: Three people. In Brainerd.
Jerry Lundegaard: Oh, geez.
Carl Showalter: That's right and we need more money.
Jerry Lundegaard: The heck d'ya mean? What a you fellas get yourself mixed up in?
Carl Showalter: We need more -
Jerry Lundegaard: This was s'posed to be a no-rough-stuff-type deal...
Jerry Lundegaard: Well, I'm sorry, but I just - I -
Carl Showalter: Look, I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry. The price is now the whole amount. We want the entire $80,000.
Jerry Lundegaard: Oh, for Christ sakes here...
Carl Showalter: Blood has been shed. We've incurred risks, Jerry. I'm coming into town tomorrow. Have the money ready.
Jerry Lundegaard: Now we had a deal. A deal's a deal.
Carl Showalter: Is it, Jerry? Why don't you ask those three poor souls in Brainerd if a deal's a deal. Go ahead, ask them!
Jerry Lundegaard: The heck do ya mean?
Carl Showalter: [mimicking] "The heck ya mean?" I'll see you tomorrow.
[Jerry hangs up, but the phone rings again]
Jerry Lundegaard: YAH!
Reilly Deifenbach: Jerome Lundegaard?
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
Reilly Deifenbach: This is Reilly Deifenbach at GMAC. Sir, I have not yet received those vehicle ID's you promised me.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah! I... Those are in the mail.
Reilly Deifenbach: That very well may be. I must inform you, however, that absent the receipt of those numbers by tomorrow afternoon, I will have to refer this matter to our legal department.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
Reilly Deifenbach: My patience is at an end.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
Reilly Deifenbach: Good day, sir.
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah.
[Jerry hangs up and slams his binder on his desk]

Officer Olson: Hiya, Norm. How ya doin' Margie? How's the fricassee?
Marge: Pretty darn good, ya want some?
Officer Olson: No, I gotta-- hey, Norm, I thought you were goin' fishin' up at Mille Lacs?
Norm: Yah, after lunch.
Officer Olson: Ah.
Marge: Whatcha got there?
Officer Olson: The numbers y'asked for. Calls made from the lobby pay phone at the Blue Ox. Two to Minneapolis that night. First one's a trucking company, second one's a private residence. A Shep Proudfoot.
Marge: Uh-huh... A what?
Officer Olson: Shep Proudfoot. That's a name.
Marge: Oh. Yah, okay, I think I'll drive down there, then.
Officer Olson: Oh, yah? Twin Cities?
Norm: [to Marge] Oh yah?

Wade Gustafson: Damn it! I wanna be a part of this thing!
Jerry Lundegaard: No, Wade! They were real clear! They said they'd call tomorrow with instructions and it's gonna be delivered by me alone!
Wade Gustafson: It's my money, I'll deliver it - what do they care?
Stan Grossman: Wade's got a point there. I'll handle the call if you want, Jerry.
Jerry Lundegaard: No, no. See - they, no, see, they only deal with me. Ya feel this, this nervousness on the phone there, they're very - these guys're dangerous.
Wade Gustafson: All the more reason! I don't want you - with all due respect, Jerry, I don't want you mucking this up.
Jerry Lundegaard: The heck ya mean?
Wade Gustafson: They want my money, they can deal with me. Otherwise I'm goin' to a professional. There's a million dollars here!
Jerry Lundegaard: No, see -
Wade Gustafson: Look, Jerry, you're not sellin' me a damn car! It's my show here. That's that.
Stan Grossman: It's the way we prefer to handle it, Jerry.

[Carl has gone by a parking garage to put Minnesota plates over his Ciera's temporary tags]
Attendant: Hi.
Carl: Yeah, I decided not to park here.
Attendant: What do you mean? You decided not to park here?
Carl: Yeah, I just came in. I decided not to park here.
Attendant: You, uh... I'm sorry, sir, but--
Carl: I decided not to... I'm, uh, not taking the trip as it turns out.
Attendant: I'm sorry, sir, we do have to charge you the four dollars.
Carl: I just pulled in here. I just fuckin' pulled in here!
Attendant: Well, see, there's a minimum charge of four dollars. Long-term parking charges by the day.
Carl: I guess you think, ya know, you're some kind of an authority figure. With that stupid fucking uniform. Huh, buddy? King Clip-on Tie here. Big fucking man, huh? You know, these are the limits of your life, man. Ruler of your little fucking gate here. There's your four dollars, you pathetic piece of shit.

Marge: So, do you remember getting a call last Wednesday night?
Shep: Nope.
Marge: Well, you do reside their at 1425 Fremont Terrace?
Shep: Yep.
Marge: Anyone else residing there?
Shep: No.
Marge: Well, Mr. Proudfoot, this call came in past three in the morning. It's just hard for me to believe you can't remember anyone calling. Now, I know you've had some problems, struggling with the narcotics, some other entanglements, currently on parole...
Shep: So?
Marge: Well, associating with criminals, if you're the one they talked to, that right there would be a violation of your parole. And would end with you back in Stillwater. Now, I saw some rough stuff on your priors, but nothing in the nature of a homicide. I know you don't want to be an accessory to something like that. So you think you might remember who those folks were who called ya?

[Jerry is doodling at his desk]
Marge: Mr. Lundegaard?
Jerry: Huh? Yah?
Marge: Could take just a minute of your time here?
Jerry: What- What is it all about?
Marge: Hmm? Do you mind if I sit down? I'm carrying quite a load here. You're the owner here, Mr. Lundegaard?
Jerry: Naw, I... Executive Sales Manager.
Marge: Well, you can help me. My name's Marge Gunderson--
Jerry: My father-in-law, he's the owner.
Marge Gunderson: Uh-huh! Well, I'm a police officer from up Brainerd investigating some malfeasance and I was just wondering if you've had any new vehicles stolen off the lot in the past couple of weeks? Specifically a tan Cutlass Ciera? [Jerry just stares at her] Mr. Lundegaard?
Jerry: [smiles] Brainerd?
Marge: Yah. Yah. Home a Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
Jerry: Babe the Blue Ox. [laughs]
Marge: Yah, ya know we've got the big statue there. So, you haven't had any vehicles go missing then?
Jerry: [smiles] Nope. No, ma'am.
Marge: Okey-dokey, thanks a bunch. I'll let you get back to your paperwork then.

Mike: Marge!?
Marge: Mike!
Mike: Geez! Oh, you look great! [awkwardly hugs Marge]
Marge: Yah, easy there, you do too! I'm expecting, ya know.
Mike: I see that! That's great! Oh, what can I get ya?
Marge: Just a Diet Coke, please. [they take a seat at the booth] This is a nice place.
Mike: Yah, ya know it's the Radisson, so it's pretty good.
Marge: So, you're livin' in Edina, now?
Mike: Oh, yah, couple years now. It's actually Eden Prairie, that school district. So Chief Gunderson, then! So ya went and married Norm Son-of-a-Gunderson!
Marge: Oh, yah, a long time ago.
Mike: Great. So, uh, what brings ya down. Are ya down here on that homicide if you're allowed, ya know, to discuss that?
Marge: Oh, yah, but there's not a heck of a lot to discuss. So, what about you, Mike? Are you married? You got kids?
Mike: Well, uh, I was married. I was married to- You mind if I sit over here? [slids out of his side of the booth and eases in next to Marge] I was married to Linda Cooksey.
Marge: No, I... Mike, why don't ch'ya sit over there, I'd prefer that.
Mike: Huh? Oh, okay. [slids back to his original seat across from Marge] I'm sorry.
Marge: No, just so I can see ya, ya know. Don't have to turn my neck.
Mike: Oh, sure, I understand, I didn't mean to-
Marge: No, no, that's fine.
Mike: Yah, sorry, so I was married to Linda Cooksey- ya remember Linda? She was a year behind us.
Marge: Yah, I think I remember Linda, yah. Oh yah! So, things didn't work out, huh?
Mike: And then I- and then I been workin' for Honeywell for a few years now.
Marge: Well, they're a good outfit.
Mike: Yah, if you're an engineer, yah, you could do a lot worse. Of course, it's not, uh, it's nothin' like your achievement.
Marge: It sounds like you're doin' really super.
Mike: Yah, well, I, uh... it's not that it didn't work out... Linda had leukemia. She passed away.
Marge: Oh, no.
Mike: It was a tough, uh ... it was a long. She fought real hard.
Marge: I'm sorry, Mike.
Mike: Oh, ya know, that's, uh - what can I say? Better times, huh?
Marge: Better times.
Mike: And, oh, then I saw you on the news and I remembered... I always liked you...
Marge: Well, I always liked you, Mike.
Mike: I always liked you so much!
Marge: [awkward pause] So, Mike, should we get together another time, ya think?
Mike: No! No, I'm sorry! It's just- I shouldn't a done this... I thought we'd have a really terrific time, and now I've...
Marge: It's okay, Mike.
Mike: You were such a super lady! And then I... I been so lonely... [cries]
Marge: It's okay.

Female Escort: So, you from around here?
Carl: Just in town on business. Just in and out. A little of the old in-and-out.
Female Escort: What do ya do?
Carl: Have ya been to the Celebrity Room before? With other, uh, clients?
Female Escort: I don't think so. It's nice.
Carl: Yeah, well, it depends on the artist. You know, José Feliciano, ya got no complaints. Waiter! What is he deaf? So, how long you been with the escort service?
Female Escort: I don't know, a few months.
Carl: Find that work interesting, do ya?
Female Escort: What're ya talkin' about?

[Carl has just been beaten up by Shep]
Jerry Lundegaard: [answers the phone] Yah?
Carl Showalter: All right, Jerry, I'm through fucking around! You got the fucking money?
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, I got the money, but, uh -
Carl Showalter: Don't you fucking "but" me, Jerry! I want you with this money on the Dayton-Radisson parking ramp, top level, thirty minutes, and we'll wrap this up!
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, okay, but, uh -
Carl Showalter: You're there in thirty minutes or I find you, Jerry, and I shoot you, and I shoot your fucking wife, and I shoot all your little fucking children, and I shoot 'em all in the back of their little fucking heads! Got it?
Jerry Lundegaard: Okay, now you stay away from Scotty now.
Carl Showalter: Got it?!
Jerry Lundegaard: Okay. Real good then.

Carl: Who the fuck are you?! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!
Wade: I've got your damn money! Now where's my daughter?
Carl: I am through fuckin' around! Drop that fuckin' briefcase!
Wade: Where's my daughter!?
Carl: Fuck you man! Where the fuck's Jerry?! I gave simple fuckin' instructions!
Wade: Where's my damn daughter? No Jean, no money!
Carl: Drop that fucking money!
Wade: No Jean, no money!
Carl: Is this a fuckin' joke here? [pulls out his gun and shoots Wade]
Wade: [falls down] Ohhhhh jeeeeez...
Carl: Happy now, fuckhole? What the fuck's with you fucking people?! Ya fucking imbeciles!
[Wade shoots Carl in the cheek; Carl falls on his crotch, his gun firing wildly as he stumbles]
Carl: OW! Fuckin' shot me! [uses his left hand to staunch his bleeding cheek while he stands up, awkwardly aims his gun at Wade, and shoots him eight more times]

[Carl approaches the parking lot exit after shooting Wade]
Attendant: May I have your ticket please? [He sees Carl's bloody face]
Carl Showalter: Open the fucking gate!

[Officer Olson stops by Mr. Mohra's home]
Mr. Mohra: How ya doin'?
Officer Olson: Mr. Mohra?
Mr. Mohra: Yah.
Officer Olson: Officer Olson.
Mr. Mohra: Yah, right-o. Well, so, I'm tendin' bar down there at Ecklund & Swedlund's last Tuesday and this little guy's drinkin' and he says, 'So where can a guy find some action? I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake.' And I says, 'What kinda action?' And he says, 'Woman action, what do I look like?' And I says, 'Well, what do I look like? I don't arrange that kinda thing.' And he says, 'But I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake,' and I says, 'Yah, but this ain't that kinda place.'
Officer Olson: Uh-huh.
Mr. Mohra: He says, 'Oh, so I get it, so you think I'm some kinda jerk for askin',' only he don't use the word "jerk".
Officer Olson: I understand.
Mr. Mohra: Then he calls me a jerk and says the last guy who thought he was a jerk is dead now. So, I don't say nothin'. He says, 'What do ya think about that?' And I says, 'Well, that don't sound like too good a deal for him, then.'
Officer Olson: [chuckles] You got that right.
Mr. Mohra: Yah. He says, 'Yah, that guy's dead and I don't mean of old age.' And then he says, 'Geez, I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake.'
Officer Olson: [points] White Bear Lake?
Mr. Mohra: Yah, well, at Ecklund & Swedlund's, that's closer to Moose Lake, so I made that assumption.
Officer Olson: Oh, sure.
Mr. Mohra: Anyway, he was drinkin' at the bar, so I don't think a whole great deal of it, but then Mrs. Mohra, she heard about the homicides down here and thought I should call it in, so I called it in. End of story.
Officer Olson: Well, what'd this guy look like, anyways?
Mr. Mohra: Oh, he's a little guy. Kinda funny-lookin'.
Officer Olson: Uh-huh. In what way?
Mr. Mohra: Oh, just in a general kinda way.
Officer Olson: Okay. Well, thanks a bunch, Mr. Mohra. You're right, it's probably nothin', but thanks for callin' her in.
Mr. Mohra: Sure. Looks like she's gonna turn cold tomorrow.
Officer Olson: [looks up to the sky] Oh yah. Got a front comin' in.
Mr. Mohra: Yah, you got that right.

Marge: [on the phone] No, I'm leavin' this mornin', back up to Brainerd.
Det. Sibert: Well, I'm sorry I won't see ya.
Marge: But ya think he's all right? I saw him last night and he's -
Det. Sibert: What'd he say?
Marge: Well, it was nothin' specific he said, it just seemd like it all hit him really hard, his wife dyin' -
Det. Sibert: His wife?
Marge: Linda.
Det. Sibert: Who?
Marge: Linda Cooksey.
Det. Sibert: No! No. No, they weren't - he, uh, he was bothering Linda for about, oh, for a good year. Really pestering her, wouldn't leave her alone.
Marge: So, they didn't...
Det. Sibert: No. No, they never married. Mike's had psychiatric problems.
Marge: Oh. Oh, my.
Det. Sibert: Yah, he's been struggling. He's living with his parents now.
Marge: Oh, geez.
Det. Sibert: Yah, Linda's fine. You should call her.
Marge Gunderson: Geez. Well... geez, that's a surprise.

Marge Gunderson: Mr. Lundegaard? Sorry to bother you again. Can I come in?
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, no, I'm kinda - I'm kinda busy here.
Marge Gunderson: I understand. I'll keep it real short, then. I'm on my way out of town, but I was just - Do you mind if I sit down? I'm carrying a bit of a load here.
Jerry Lundegaard: No, I -
Marge Gunderson: Yah, it's this vehicle I asked you about yesterday. I was just wondering -
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, like I told ya, we haven't had any vehicles go missing.
Marge Gunderson: Okay! Are ya sure? Cause, I mean, how do you know? Because, see, the crime I'm investigating, the perpetrators were driving a car with dealer plates, and they called someone who works here. So it'd be quite a coincidence if they weren't - ya know - connected!
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, I see.
Marge Gunderson: So how do you - have you done any kind of inventory recently?
Jerry Lundegaard: The car's not from our lot, ma'am.
Marge Gunderson: But do you know that for sure without -
Jerry Lundegaard: Well, I would know. I'm the Executive Sales Manager!
Marge Gunderson: Yah, but -
Jerry Lundegaard: We run a pretty tight ship here.
Marge Gunderson: I understand. Do you do a count, or what kind of a routine do you have here?
Jerry Lundegaard: Ma'am, I answered your question!
Marge Gunderson: I'm sorry, sir?
Jerry Lundegaard: Ma'am, I answered your question. I answered the darned... I'm cooperatin' here! And, I...
Marge Gunderson: Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me, I'm just doing my job here.
Jerry Lundegaard: I'm... I'm not arguing here! I'm cooperating. So there's no need to... we're doin' all we can here.
Marge Gunderson: Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?
[Jerry stares at her]
Marge Gunderson: Mr. Lundegaard?
Jerry Lundegaard: Well, heck! If you wanna - if you wanna play games here! I'm workin' with ya on this thing, but I... Okay! I'll do a damned lot count!
Marge Gunderson: Sir? Right now?
[Jerry puts on his coat and hat]
Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, right now! You're darn tootin'! If it's so damned imporant to ya!
Marge Gunderson: Well, I'm sorry, sir!
Jerry Lundegaard: Ah, what the Christ!
[Jerry leaves, then is seen driving away]
Marge Gunderson: Oh for Pete's sake! He's fleeing the interview! He's fleeing the interview!

[Gaear is watching a TV soap opera. Carl bursts in through the door, still bleeding from the bullet wound he sustained at the parking garage.]
Carl: [force-laughs] You should see the other guy. [He sees Jean slumped to the floor, dead] The fuck happened to her?
Grimsrud: Uh, she started shrieking, ya know.
Carl: Jeezus. Oh. Well, I got the money. All of it. All eighty grand. Forty for you, forty for me. That's it, then. Here are the keys to my truck. I'm takin' the Ciera.
Grimsrud: We split that.
Carl: How the fuck do ya split a fuckin' car, ya dummy?! With a fuckin' chainsaw?!
Grimsrud: One of us pays the other for half.
Carl: Hold on. No fuckin' way! You fuckin' notice this?! [motions to his bullet wound] I got fuckin' shot!! I got fuckin' shot in the face!! I went and got the fuckin' money! I got shot fuckin' pickin' it up! I've been up for thirty-six fuckin' hours! I'm takin' that fuckin' car! That fucker's mine, ya fuckin' asshole. Ya know, I've been listenin' to your fuckin' bullshit all week. Are we square? [Gaear does not respond. Carl indicates his gun.] Are we square? [Gaear does not respond.] Yeah, ya fuckin' mute. And if you see your friend Shep Proudfoot, tell him I'm gonna nail his fuckin' ass! [storms out of the house]

Lou: [voice from cop scanner] His wife. This guy says she was kidnapped last Wednesday.
Marge Gunderson: The day of our homicides.
Lou: Yah.
Marge Gunderson: And this guy is who?
Lou: Lundegaard's father-in-law's accountant.
Marge: Gustafson's accountant.
Lou: Yah.
Marge Gunderson: But we still haven't found Gustafson.
Lou: [crackle] ...looking...
Marge Gunderson: Sorry, didn't copy that Lou.
Lou: Still missing. We're looking.
Marge Gunderson: Copy. And Lundegaard too.
Lou: Yah. Where are ya, Margie?
Marge Gunderson: Oh, I'm almost back. I'm driving around Moose Lake.
Lou: Oh. Gary's loudmouth.
Marge Gunderson: Yah, the loudmouth. So the whole state has it, huh. Lundegaard and Gustafson?
Lou: Yah, it's over the wire, it's everywhere, they'll find 'em.
Marge Gunderson: Copy.
Lou: We've got a -
Marge Gunderson: There's the car! There's the car!
Lou: Whose car?
Marge Gunderson: My car! My car! Tan Ciera! Tan Ciera!

[Marge climbs into bed with Norm]
Norm: They announced it.
Marge: They announced it?
Norm: Yah.
Marge: So?
Norm:Three-cent stamp.
Marge: Your mallard?
Norm: Yah.
Marge: Why that's terrific!
Norm: It's just the three-cent.
Marge: It's terrific.
Norm: Hautman's blue-winged teal got the twenty-nine cent. People don't much use the three-cent.
Marge: Oh, for Pete's sake, of course they do! Whenever they raise the postage, people need the little stamps.
Norm: Yah?
Marge: When they're stuck with a bunch of the old ones.
Norm: Yah, I guess.
Marge: That's terrific. I'm so proud of ya, Norm. Heck, Norm, you know we're doin' pretty good.
Norm: I love you, Margie.
Marge: I love you, Norm.
Norm: Two more months.
Marge: Two more months.


  • Small town. Big crime. Dead cold.
  • A homespun murder story.
  • A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.
  • An ordinary place, an extraordinary thriller.


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