Joel Coen (1995)

bbfc_rating|ages_18_and_over Certificate


Our Score
The Coen brothers (director/writer Joel, producer/writer Ethan) are on top form with this quirky, unconventional, comedy-tinged crime thriller set in snowy Minnesota. Amateur kidnappers Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare leave a trail of dead bodies that is investigated, with rare instinct and understanding, by heavily pregnant police chief Frances McDormand (who won an Oscar for her performance). Supposedly inspired by a true story, the film sees the Coens neatly subvert thriller clichés for their own surreal and philosophical ends, while retaining the genre's old-fashioned virtues and screw-tightening tension. While sweet-natured mirth is combined with deliciously twisted malice, and gory horror merges with offbeat humour, the whole is set against an extraordinary winter wonderland backdrop. The result is a modern masterpiece.


A downtrodden car dealer arranges to have his wife abducted, hoping her father will pay the ransom. But his plan unravels badly as his two bungling kidnappers leave a trail of seemingly motiveless murders in their wake, and end up with a determined pregnant police chief on their trail. Comedy thriller from the Coen brothers, starring Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi and William H Macy.

Cast & Crew

Marge Gunderson Frances McDormand
Jerry Lundegaard William H Macy
Carl Showalter Steve Buscemi
Gaear Grimsrud Peter Stormare
Wade Gustafson Harve Presnell
Jean Lundegaard Kristin Rudrud
Scotty Lundegaard Tony Denman
One of irate couple Gary Houston
One of irate couple Sally Wingert
Car salesman Kurt Schweickhardt
Hooker Larissa Kokernot
Hooker Melissa Peterman
Shep Proudfoot Steven Reevis
Reilly Diefenbach Warren Keith
Norm Gunderson John Carroll Lynch
Director Joel Coen
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Assoc. British Pathe LtdGuidance: Contains violence and swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama Comedy