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“Fargo,” the film, has lingering effects

Courtesy Fargo-Moorhead CVB

Seventeen years after a pregnant police chief named Marge Gunderson ambled onto the big screen, the impact of “Fargo,” the movie, on Fargo, the city, hasn’t faded as much as you might think.

Tromp into the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center and pop on an ear flap hat. Then grab a fake leg that’s always at the ready and dip it into a wood chipper, the same one that devoured Steve Buscemi’s character in the film. It’s a photo opp found only in Fargo.

The Fargo Film Fest, held early each spring, has more than once splashed the movie onto the city’s tallest tower, downtown’s Radisson Hotel, for a public showing. Around town, shops cash in on the connection with T-shirts and other movie memorabilia.

Locals who were once a little miffed at the film’s exaggerated accents and local lingo — Marge’s enthusiastic “You betchas” as example — have since embraced the film and its after-effects.

A new generation of “Fargo“ fans could be in the offing. The television network FX recently signed a series called “Fargo,” directed, like the movie, by Minnesota natives and movie directors Ethan and Joel Coen, according to Charley Johnson, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead CVB.

Johnson’s one wish for the television show? “I wish they would film it here.” Only one scene from the movie was shot in Fargo.