The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 21, 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 "Fargo" 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's story is mostly based in Minnesota, it made Fargo a household name for many across the country — to the early dismay of some city folk who watched the premiere 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.

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