Fargo is a 1996 crime drama written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Frances McDormand stars as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant Minnesota police chief investigating roadside homicides that ensue after a desperate car salesman (William H. Macy) hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in order to extort a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law (Harve Presnell). The film was an international co-production between the United States and the United Kingdom.


In 1987, Jerry Lundegaard, the sales manager at an Oldsmobile dealership in Minneapolis, is desperate for money. Jerry had recently procured for the dealership a GMAC inventory financing loan of $320,000 that he collateralized with nonexistent vehicles, and the GMAC loan officer, who has realized the VINs are not legible on the loan documents, threatens legal action. On the advice of a dealership mechanic (and paroled ex-convict), Shep Proudfoot, Jerry travels to Fargo, North Dakota, and hires two small-time criminals, Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud, to kidnap his wife, Jean, and extort a ransom from Wade Gustafson, her wealthy father, who owns the dealership. Jerry will give them a new car and half of the $80,000 ransom.