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The Film:

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • California Doubling: The movie wasn't actually filmed in Fargo, but mainly in Minnesota, North Carolina and Canada.
  • Fake Nationality: Despite the Japanese name, the guy who plays Mike Yanagita is Steve Park—a Korean-American.
  • Follow the Leader: Stolen Heart, a quirky, Coen-esque film that's also about kidnappers going after someone's grown daughter that devolves into a giant, murderous mess in the general area around Fargo, was renamed "North of Fargo".
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  • Life Imitates Art: Mere hours after filming the scene where Carl and Gaear get pulled over by a state trooper, Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi were actually pulled over by a policewoman who asked for their license and registration, in the very same car used in the movie - on their way to a pancake house, no less. Steve Buscemi somehow managed to talk his way out of getting a ticket, but the two actors found the whole experience so bizarre that they suspected The Coen Brothers of staging the whole thing. (The brothers denied doing so.)
  • Throw It In!:
    • William H. Macy was doodling between takes and the Coens decided to use it for a scene.
    • The snow plow that drives past the motel at the end of the film was not part of the script. Signs in the area warned motorists not to drive through due to filming, but a state employee ignored them.
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  • What Could Have Been: Due to unforeseeable circumstances, Bill Pullman had to turn down the part of Jerry Lundegaard.
  • Word of Dante: Joel Coen had Frances McDormand and John Carroll Lynch conceive a back-story for their characters to get the feel of them. They decided that Norm and Marge met while working on the police force, and when they were married, they had to choose which one had to quit. Since Marge was a better officer, Norm quit and took up painting.
  • Working Title: Brainerd.
  • Write What You Know: The scene where the couple tries to make a deal with Jerry is based on Ethan Coen's real-life encounter with a car salesman. "[It's] almost a verbatim transcript of my experience."

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The 2003 Pilot

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