Welcome to The Movie Fargo. From Brainerd, MN where it allegedly took place.

Brainerd watertower

Brainerd's Landmark Watertower:
Dey didn't show ya dis here really big watertower dat we're so attached ta in dat der movie, did dey?

We was mentioned in dat der purty littl' National Geographic Magazine ting doncha know. Dey wrote up some nice tings about us and our littl' web site. Ya know, dey sure take nice pitures.
 fargo - the movie
 A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.

Friday, February 14, 1997

Find any arms dere, Norm? Just kiddin'. Don't ruin dat nice coat yer wife gave ya fer Christmas.

Dis is what we woulda used ta chop up da bodies. A Asplund Turbo Two-tousand chopper. Shoots 'em out real good! It's in da gearing ya understand. Not dat puny, schlocky little model featured in da movie, no guts if ya know what we mean.

'FARGO' nominated for best picture Oscar...Minnesotans bask in glow...But some say movie still goes too far....You betcha Brainerd's tired of 'Fargo' fever

Tempo Editor

The crime thriller "Fargo" by Minnesota natives Joel and Ethan Coen has earned seven Academy Award nominations. The announcement made earlier this week touched off a new wave of publicity and reaction.

The Brainerd Daily Dispatch carried a front page story Feb. 11 by City Editor Mike O'Rourke. The top story of the day included a photograph from the movie, showing Best Actress nominee Frances McDormand, in her role as the Brainerd chief of police.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press on Feb. 12 played "Fargo" at the top of its front page as well, mentioning the Dispatch's website as a place to go in search of more on the quirky, critic-praised flick.

The St. Paul paper also ran a story headlined "You betcha Brainerd's tired of 'Fargo Fever." It was similar to some of the electronic media attention given to the Oscar nomination; WCCO-TV, Channel 4 in the Twin Cities, came to town and showed a few residents of the community reacting to the movie and the publicity it has brought to town.

"We're pretty tired of the whole thing," said an embarassed Mayor Bonnie Cumberland in the Pioneer Press. Cumberland, whom some say resembles the character McDormand played, has led the official response among the spokespeople who want to set the record straight.

They want to defend the reputation of their fair city, one of the state's top spots for snowmobilers, drag racers, motorcycle racers, sports car racers, jalopy racers, personal watercraft racers, speedboat racers, yacht racers and environmental e-rasers.

The movie pokes fun at the way Minnesotans talk, and to some extent the way they think. It calls for a lively sense of humor and a quality that can be rare: not taking ourselves too seriously. For the record:

No Twin Cities car dealers' wives have been kidnapped and killed in Brainerd (not that we know of - ed).

Hit men do not frequent the city (not that we know of).

No one has been axed to death, dismembered and fed into a wod chipper (again, not that we know of).

Police chief Frank Ball is neither female... nor pregnant (we're pretty sure about this one).

City Editor O'Rourke, smiling on camera and wearing a flack jacket since the 1993 shooting spree at the newspaper (naw, we're kidding, except about the shooting spree), noted that the paper's website does contain a substantial array of "Fargo" trivia.

Denton Newman, creative services chief at The Dispatch, is our websmythe responsible for building the site. Rumous has it he's in line for a shot at the hottest TV show of our time: The Daily Show, on Comedy Central.

The Blue Ox in the movie "Fargo" is a motel of ill repute where the villains of the flick take a couple of young hookers from a Twin Cities community college. The Blue Ox in real life is not a motel/truckstop; it's a bar anchoring the downtown right off that tourist funnel, Highway 371, that snakes through town at a snail's pace on fishing and hunting opener or whenever there's a major speed event at Brainerd International Raceway.

We do have a Paul Bunyan, and Babe the Blue Ox. But they're hibernating right now at the amusement center, hidden beneath the snow and the canopy and the boards of winter. The movie's Paul Bunyan was a creation of the film production artists.

The Star Tribune newspaper of the Twin Cities on its front page state edition quotes actress Melissa Peterman, who played one of the prostitutes in the movie, as laughing about her big moment in the big movie. "I just thought that I'd get more dates out of it," she said in the paper, which caught up with her at an early-morning party at Planet Hollywood.

Another bit part player in the film, Bain Boehlke, may have been just a tavern owner in the movie. But it's brought him a new rush of activity. He was fielding congratulatory calls and granting interviews, reported the Strib.

Jim Hunt, Brainerd High principal, told the paper he had gone to Seattle last summer and was a bit startled when a stranger expected him to talk like one of the movie characters. "It kind of makes us the laughingstock out here," he told the Strib.

Many fans don't see the movie as an attack. After years of "Pulp Fiction" wannabees, "Fargo" was an ice-cool change, reports the Strib.

Way cool. The Coens know their craft. They know about all the Brainerds.


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