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Short plot summary

Loser husband, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), wants wife kidnapped so that he can embezzle money from his successful father-in-law. So, he gets a non-Caucasian looking guy from work (!) to put him in touch with Steve Buscemi (character name: Carl Showalter) a loser-type hoodlum.

The kidnapping kicks off in an unexpected, hilarious, fashion. Pregnant police officer Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) investigates.

What our panel of critics thought

"This movie is like a reverse Baywatch."

"Was this really based on a true story?"

"If I hear the catchphrase 'You're darned tootin'!' one more time I don't think I will be able to stop cursing until Christmas."

"Hilarious at times - the bit when the kidnapped woman runs away still wearing the over the head hood, and with her arms bound! Such a shame she didn't run head first into a tree knocking herself out cold! - now that's comedy! And the shower room scene - you think she has gotten away and then it all goes wrong! Bravisimo in the highest! This is what I call losing with style!"

"More 'yahs!' than a Swedish cow-based farmyard movie. Bravisimo! I enjoyed every moment of this movie, apart from the shooting scenes."

"I could feel my brain deteriorating during this movie. At last! an intelligent movie for simple folk!"

"Oh joy of joys! I love snow and there is more snow in this movie than I would know what to do with. A triumph. A joy. I recommend this movie with the air conditioning set to freeze."

Please tell me the ending

The husband is arrested in a raid at the end. Steve Buscemi's character is killed by his kidnap accomplice, who is then arrested by Marge.

The kidnapped wife gets killed, as does her father, during the ransom delivery scene, by Buscemi's character.

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

This delightfully comic-vicious movie is a study of simple folk involved in a strange criminal-circumstance in snow-torn little town America... We are, initially, told that this is all based on a true story, however, I remain to be convinced...

It is all a nasty tale, told with much aplomb. We enter a world which, on one level, sounds foreign, but is, in fact, in the middle of America. We are thus disoriented and fully expect our spunky, heavily pregnant, funny talking heroine to mess everything up, or at least take an awkward tumble in the snow from which she has to roll around to regain her footing.

But she does not mess up, neither does she ever lose her dignity. If there is ever a female Columbo, our Marge has got the job.

Quotable quotes (real)
"You're darned tootin'!"
"There's more to life than a little money you know!"
Other comments

A funny movie in every sense. It is so different from its type, and yet has so many similar ingredients.

A vicious murder, and yet an ordinary pregnant woman-officer clears it all up - no messing. A polite movie, and yet moments of (hilarious) jaw shooting horror.

An interesting, alternative, movie.

Date of Review

July 29 , 2003

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