It’s been 20 years since the Coen brothers spliced the docile frost and welcoming “You betcha” song of the Dakota-Minnesota dialect with kidnapping and murder, creating an American classic worthy of that overused term. In the time since, two television shows have sprung up (yes, two; we’ll get to that) and countless fans have found the film on home video, likely sparking their fixation with Fargo and the Coen brothers. If you’re one of those fans or someone who has been on board since the original, chances are fair to middling that you’ll consider watching the film in the near future to stoke your memories. But before you do that, why not take a closer look at our list of surprising facts about the film and the production.
The wood chipper became a piece of state pride
The infamous wood chipper is now on display at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center, and apparently they will provide you with a leg (fake, right?) and a bomber hat (frequently washed, right?) should you want to capture the memory of you re-living one of cinema’s goriest moments with a smile.
Bruce Campbell makes his way into the movie
Campbell played Ronald Reagan in the Fargo TV series, but he had a very brief and unofficial sorta cameo in the film, as well. In the above video, you can see footage from Campbell’s time on a regional soap opera from the late ’70s popping up on the TV in the cabin. Why the homage? Like his frequent collaborator Sam Raimi, Campbell was a friend from way back and had appeared in the little-seen Raimi film Crimewave, which the Coens co-wrote, and previously worked with the Coens on Hudsucker Proxy. He’d later have an uncredited role in Intolerable Cruelty — as a TV soap actor.
Norm Gunderson’s duck paintings were done by friends of the Coen brothers
The duck paintings seen at the Gunderson home were actually done by the Hautman brothers, a group of three brothers who paint wildlife and are friends of Joel and Ethan Cohen. All three of the Hautmans have won the annual Federal Duck Stamp contest, with Joseph walking off with the honors in 2015.
When Gaear Grimsrud takes off in his car to chase down the eyewitnesses to the highway patrolman murder, he says “Jävla fitta!” Which is Swedish for “f*cking c*nt!” Now you know Swedish curse words that you should never use.
None of the movie scenes were actually filmed within the Fargo city limits