Fargo is a 1996 comedy crime film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Cohen. The film begins in 1987 during a severe winter in which financial troubled car salesmen Jerry Lundgaard (William H. Macy) hires two criminals Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife Jean in exchange for a 1987 Oldsmoble and half of the $80,000 ransom. However Jerry secretly plans to tell Jean’s father Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell) the ransom is 1,000,000 and keep most of it for himself. When Carl and Gaear kidnap Jean they get stopped by a State Patrol Officer whom they kill along with a couple who witnesses their crimes.
They soon become part of an investigation head by the local police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) who is seven months pregnant. Gunderson follows a chain of evidence leading her to Minnesota where she interviews Jerry’s co-worker Shep Proudfoot (Steve Reevis) but receives no information. Meanwhile Jerry tries to convince Wade into paying the kidnappers ransom however when Wade changes his mind and does not go through with the arrangement stating that until he is given visual proof his daughter Jean is alive, he will not pay the ransom. Wade and Carl have a shootout ending in Wade’s death leaving the million dollars in Carl’s hands. Carl removes the money he intends to split with Gaear and leaves the rest buried by the highway. Upon arriving to the hideout Carl is killed by Gaear with an ax during a dispute over a car. Back in Minneapolis Marge is questioning Jerry about Wade when Jerry tries to flee Marge follows him. He is later arrested by police at a hotel. When Marge arrives at the lake she sees the kidnapper’s car and Gaear disposing Carl’s body into the wood chipper. Marge shoots Gaear and arrests him.
William H. Macy