MN Reads: New Book Celebrates Movie ‘Fargo’ 25 Years Later
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was 25 years ago this week that the movie "Fargo" debuted in movie theaters. Minnesota Author Todd Melby has released a book titled "A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of Nowhere: The Untold Story of the Making of Fargo". He says it's the first movie that put Minnesota on the map nationally.
Creators Joel and Ethan Coen had made five previous movies, but they weren't really expecting this low-budget film to be a big hit. It went on to win two Academy Awards.
Melby says William H. Macy lobbied hard to get a role in the film.
He auditioned for a smaller role and Joel and Ethan weren't really thinking about him for the lead male role and he read for it and they liked him but they just weren't sure, so he actually flew out to New York when they were doing some casting choices out there and he busted an audition.
Macy played the role of Jerry Lundegaard. He wrote the forward for the book.
The biggest debate over the movie has to be whether or not we Minnesotans actually talk like that. Melby says the Coen brothers actually had a friend of theirs go out and search for the perfect Minnesota accent.
They asked him to go around and just record the sounds of Minnesotans until he found the perfect Minnesotan who had the accent super strongly and then they shared that tape with the actors and they hired a dialect coach. It was very essential to the place and the movie.
Another question is, with the entire movie set in Brainerd and the Twin Cities, why is it called Fargo?
Joel Coen famously said that no one would go see a movie called "Brainerd", to that's his smart-ass answer. The real answer might be mysterious, just the sound of Fargo sounds mysterious.
Most of the movie was made in the Twin Cities area, however, due to a lack of snow in the winter of 1995 when they were making the movie, they had to move production up to Grand Forks, North Dakota to shoot the outdoor scenes.
For the record, even though the movie claims to be "inspired by true events", Melby says that's not true.
The popular movie also spun off a popular TV series on the FX channel which has four seasons and 41 episodes.
Tonight there is a screening of the movie Fargo at Trylon Cinema in Minneapolis at 7:00 p.m.
MN Reads is a monthly feature series on the News @ Noon Show on WJON where we highlight books about Minnesota or authors from Minnesota.