The Woodchipper in Fargo
The Fargo woodchipper scene goes down as one of the most infamous murder scenes in cult classic cinema history. And although the Coen brothers’ film Fargo wasn’t actually filmed in Fargo, North Dakota, you can still visit this original movie prop, (and its stunt double) at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.
The Fargo movie Woodchipper sits just inside the Visitors Center off I-94 in Fargo, ND, ready and waiting for a photo op. Stop inside and chat with the friendly travel ambassadors who will give you a trapper hat (those winter hats with ear flaps that are worn in the movie) and take your picture as you pretend to push a fake leg into the Fargo “chipper”.
You’ll leave with great photos and memories of Fargo… the place and the movie!
Beyond getting a picture with the Woodchipper from Fargo – which is signed by the Coen brothers – you can also see other memorabilia from the movie, including a signed copy of the original script.
The Woodchipper tops the list of free things to do in Fargo, but while you’re at the Visitors Center you can also see a painted bison statue, stroll around the Celebrity Walk of Fame, and purchase any Fargo (place or movie!) souvenirs from the gift shop.
Oh, and before you arrive, you can practice your Fargo accent using these tips.
Please check the Visitors Center Page for the most current hours.
The Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center is dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your pup for a picture.
• None of the movie FARGO was actually filmed in Fargo, ND.
• Contrary to what the opening credits of the movie say, it was not actually based on a true story, although a couple of the concepts (including the Woodchipper murder) were loosely based on real events.
• Outside the Visitors Center sits an exact replica of the original woodchipper (which is inside!).
Fargo the movie was released in 1996 as a black comedy thriller written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (a.k.a. the Coen brothers). It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
Frances McDormand, who plays the pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson, won the Oscar for Best Actress, while the Coen brothers won one for Best Original Screenplay.
In 2006, Fargo was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States by the Library of Congress… one of only six films picked in the first year of eligibility.
Fargo is on the American Film Institute’s list of “100 greatest American films in history” and has most recently inspired the Coen-produced FX television series of the same name.