Over the years, ‘Fargo’ has garnered a cult status due to its fantastic combination of dark comedy and immersive cinematography, sprinkled with aspects of gore. With an ensemble cast that includes Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Stormare, it follows the story of a car salesman, Jerry Lundegaard, who gets his wife kidnapped as he is in desperate need for money. He plans to extort it out of his father-in-law. But things don’t work out according to his vision, and soon, a Minnesota police chief enters the picture after a few homicides have occurred. Here are the locations where ‘Fargo’ was filmed!
Fargo 1996 Movie Filming Locations
The Coen Brothers production has been filmed in Minnesota and North Dakota. The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau houses original scripts and also the woodchipper (amongst other props) that was employed in the infamous scene. Moreover, several people even searched for the buried cash in Brainerd owing to the true story declaration at the beginning of the film. Hang tight, because we have a lot of locations to discuss in this article.
Jerry first meets with Carl and Gaear in a bar called The King of Clubs. This was situated in northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, in 2003, the building was torn down. Wade Gustafson, Jerry’s father in law, owns a car dealership that is actually Wally McCarthy Oldsmobile in Richfield. The Blue Ox motel and truck-stop is located in South St. Paul.
The hometown of the Coen Brothers also made an appearance when they showed Embers Restaurant. It is where Jerry talks to his father-in-law about the ransom, and its exact address is 7525 Wayzata Boulevard, St. Louis Park. Another restaurant was featured in the film – The Lakeside Club. Although it is now closed, it was located at Mahtomedi. José Feliciano’s concert was actually shot at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.
The May Township was also used as a filming location, and it was where the kidnappers’ Moose Lake hideout was situated. Furthermore, the interiors of the Brainerd Police Department were filmed in the Edina City Hall, located on 801 W. 50th Street. The Minneapolis Club Parking Ramp (on 8th Street and 3rd Avenue) was also used to capture the ransom drop.
FUN FACT: The building where our podcast is recorded sits right across the street from the filming location of the parking ramp scene in FARGO (1996). You can even see it in the background of the establishing shot! It’s the big glass one! pic.twitter.com/DftDLLyA4H
— Trylove, A Movie Podcast (@trylovepodcast) May 29, 2019
The motel where Jerry is eventually captured is the Hitching Post Motel in Forest Lake. Apart from these locations, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Brainerd, Stillwater, Hallock, and Willermie also feature on the list of venues used for filming.
Since the film was actually shot in one of the hottest winters, the snowfall was quite low in the vicinity. Therefore, the snowy exteriors were captured in Fargo and Grand Forks. It must be noted that apart from this, the city of Fargo was not actually used for filming any scenes. We see a 24-foot statue of Paul Bunyan in the movie. This was situated in Bathgate, and to be more specific, it was along 101st Street NE, near the corner of 143rd Avenue NE. Reportedly, this statue is somewhere in Wisconsin now. The scene where the money is buried in the snow was taken in Grafton.
North Dakota, which last I checked is mostly oil worker camps and people wandering around trying to find the briefcase from Fargo (1996).
— Joan Jetsam (@waelwulf) October 1, 2019
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