SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 22, 2012

'You betcha': Fargo awaits TV version of hit movie

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Ask folks in Fargo what they first thought about the 1996 movie that made their city famous, and some will tell you they were not fans.

Some residents initially didn’t appreciate the Coen brothers’ dark humor or were offended by the extreme violence and depiction of Scandinavian culture. Not to mention those heavy accents on “you betcha” and “ya sure.”

But the fame and cash it brought Fargo eventually brought the city around. Now, 16 years later, Fargo awaits the debut of a new cable television show by the same name, and many residents here are less apprehensive about how their hometown will be portrayed this time around. Just ask Kristin Rudrud.

“Anything the Coen brothers are going to be involved in is going to be brilliant,” said Rudrud, 57, who played a supporting role in the movie and has a hankering to promote everything about her hometown. “And they love Fargo. They love this area. So it will be done in a very fun and loving way.”

The Oscar-winning film starred Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant police chief who investigates a series of murders, and William H. Macy as a car salesman who hires two criminals, played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, to kidnap his wife. In one of the final scenes, Stormare feeds Buscemi’s body into a wood chipper.

Though the movie made Fargo a household name for many across the country, it wasn’t a sure bet when it premiered at the Fargo Theater in 1996. The theater was quiet inside and some moviegoers were offended, said Margie Bailly, who was executive director of the Fargo Theater at the time. Some residents even walked out.

“Those of us who were laughing were a little lonely,” she said.

But locals later warmed up as the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and Fargo started to see the benefits from all the publicity. The theater hosted a free Oscar party with a polka band and Jell-O treats that Entertainment Weekly billed as one of the top soirees of the evening.

That event was publicized in several countries, and Fargo cashed in. Donations flowed for the theater’s restoration, which dovetailed with plans to revitalize the city’s downtown.

Sixteen years later, travelers looking to see the real Fargo still swing through, with many flocking to take a picture next to the iconic wood chipper.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Salem's Collins seeks longer day

    SALEM -- Collins Middle School may look a little different next year. For starters, longtime Principal Mary Manning, who has headed the school for more than 20 years, is retiring and will be replaced by a new, yet-unnamed principal. More than that, t

    April 19, 2014 6 Stories

  • 140418_SN_KYU_WALK_2 Walking the Walk BEVERLY -- Four hundred thirty walkers, 10.5 miles and $65,000. Those are the numbers you can count on just about every year from the Good Friday Walk. The 35th annual walk produced those figures once again yesterday, with the money going to help nee

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Marblehead chief charts drop in crime MARBLEHEAD -- Police chief Robert Picariello has highlighted an overall drop in crime from 2012 to 2013 in his annual report to the town. The decrease was substantial in the category of crimes against persons, down 23 percent for incidents like rape,

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • One-way school bus passes to get trial run in Peabody PEABODY -- Students will be able to ride the school bus one way next year without paying the price of a round-trip fare. The School Committee has agreed to offer one-way passes on a trial basis following review of transportation data and a proposal f

    April 19, 2014