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Fargo: Screenplay (FF Classics) [Paperback]

Ethan Coen , Joel Coen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2000 FF Classics

Set in the midst of the bleak midwinter snow drifts of the American Midwest, Fargo is a story of murder and mayhem. Jerry Lundegaard plots the kidnapping of his wife to rescue his precarious financial situation, but events career out of control when one of the small-time criminals he has hired to do the job goes haywire. In a senseless universe, it falls to Marge Gunderson, chief of the Brainerd Police Department, to set things straight.

Like the Coen brothers' auspicious debut feature Blood Simple, Fargo concerns itself with dirty deeds done for money, but the grimness of the tale is alleviated by the laconic humour with which the characters greet their fates. The intricacy of the plotting is executed with brilliance, yet the writing also reveals humanity at its core. Fargo was honoured with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay of 1996.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (21 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571202446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571202447
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all there! 24 Feb 2003
Reading this screenplay makes one realize just how much the Coens impose their personal vision upon their films. If one has seen the film, one can just hear the characters saying their lines: every intonation, every pause, seems accounted for in the prose transcription.
Even if one has seen the film, there are a few good reasons to buy this book. There are a few scenes that don't appear in the final cut which add a little to the characters. The descriptions of characters and locations might shed a little light upon how the Coens want their viewers to see certain things. And most importantly, the screenplay is preceded by an extremely amusing anecdote relating to the mock-'truthfulness' of the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read. 10 Feb 2001
From those dark wrighters of Blood Simple and Millers Crossing comes another following their style but with a touch of comedy. It's a story about a kidnap and the conciquences of it. For those of you public oput there that wish for a book combining the truth of crime this is the book for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Good 28 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on
What a great script! I'm surprised so many locals missed out on the humor of this film. Its easy to see the Coen brothers have a great vision what their films will be while they write. To the Minnesotans and North Dakotans who were harmed as a result of the "yah" stereotype, get over it. The Coens are the best thing to come out of the area since Lawrence Welk.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, it's a darn good script. 16 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This screenplay started with the premise, "Wouldn't it be cool if you put a guy through a wood chipper?" and snowballed (no pun intended, honestly) from there, according to the Coens. I think that's part of the amazing originality of this script. Why start with a plot? The storyline is so bizarre and non-linear that it at first you might be inclined to believe the movie actually is based on a true story. Twists, turns, and laugh-out-loud dialogue (for an extra laugh, watch the creative dubbing on TNT sometime: "frugal," "frozen," "flipping," etc.) make this a script worth reading, and well worth its Oscar. And to the Dakotans that have issues with the stereotypical accent: get over it. I'm from North Carolina, and I'm tired of you people whining about how all people in your region don't talk the same way. We southerners don't all talk like rednecks, but neither do we get uptight over movies that tend to forget that. But I digress. This is an excellent peice of writing, as is the rest of the Coen brothers' library. "Raising Arizona" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" are also wonderful; I recommend them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Fargo Book 4 April 2011
By Workingdogz Mom - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a big fan of the Fargo movie this book is a must have! My Husband and I have watched the movie countless times and like to kid with quotes from the movie. If I'm not sure about a quote I refer to this book:)
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story about greed and its consequences. 20 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
A fabulous screenplay and an even better movie. Anyone who enjoyed Pulp Fiction or Jacky Brown will like FARGO. Frances McDormand plays a bright policewoman trying to maintain a normal and quiet life with husband Norm. GREAT bad guys you will love to hate. A must see!!!!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor, yes, but don't miss out on touching scenes 27 Sep 2005
By C. Clonts - Published on
Yes, this movie was humorous. No, I don't think it was necessarily an all-out comedy. To wit: The scene where Norm is upset that he only got the "tree cent stamp" and Margie is comforting him by telling him the three-cent stamp is important.

Scenes like this, and Margie's soliloquy near the end of the movie about "a little bit of money" add a moving human undercurrent. That's what gives this film far more depth than things like Tarantino movies or other crime films.
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