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Ending of the movie Fargo (watch out if you don't want movie spoiled)

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  • Ending of the movie Fargo (watch out if you don't want movie spoiled)

    I recently rewatched the movie Fargo. For those who haven't seen it at the end of the movie one of the villains has killed his partner in crime and is disposing of the body using a wood chipper. The film's protagonist is Marge Gunderson, Chief of Police in a small Minnesota town. She comes upon him running the guy's body through the wood chipper and when he sees her he tries to run across a frozen lake. She shoots him in the leg and takes him into custody and is met on the highway awhile later by other officers.

    I know movies are of course fictional and for the purposes of entertainment, but I have always been curious if the final scene would have played out even close to how it did in the movie in the real world.

    So a few things:

    1. When Marge sees a tan Oldsmobile Ciera (vehicle she was looking for and believed to be driven by suspected multiple murderers who have already killed a police officer) way out in a remote camp site, she radios it in and then approaches by herself. Would that ever happen in real life? She knew there were probably two (at least two) murderers she was dealing with possibly at the location.

    2. When the guy stuffing his partner through the wood chipper runs, she shoots him from behind in the leg. Would that be allowed in most departments? I don't know the laws/regulations on shooting someone who is fleeing.

    3. Marge's character is pregnant (pretty well along) during the movie. Would a pregnant officer, even after shooting someone in the leg, risk getting close enough to him to handcuff him and bring him in? I can just see a lot of ways that would go wrong, the character she arrested was a pretty big guy and obviously dangerous.

    Thanks for any answers!

  • #2
    1) No

    2) Not only 'no' except in very very few circumstances, but you would go to prison for doing so

    3) No.....she would not even be allowed to work the field, never mind make arrests

    Its a movie....I have yet to see a movie that gets even 50% of what we do even remotely correct
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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    • #3
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      What he said.


      Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
      Its a movie....I have yet to see a movie that gets even 50% of what we do even remotely correct
      Training Day?

      In all seriousness, Colors is pretty good. Southland is great, as far as TV shows go. They just leave out all the paperwork. Ditto to The Wire. And American Gangster wasn't bad.
      The academy teaches you skills, the street gives you experience, but it all comes down to your instinct.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
        2) Not only 'no' except in very very few circumstances, but you would go to prison for doing so
        Why do you say that the officer could not shoot the fleeing male? Under Tennessee v Garner, along with my state's rules and dept policy; an officer may use deadly force on a fleeing felon who comitted a forcible felony, poses a threat to officers or the public if not stopped, and when the need to apprehend the subject is immediately necessary for public safety. If I recall, in the movie the actor has already committed murders, including that of a police officer, has just killed another person and is destroying the body (evidence), and now refuses commands from an officer to surrender, commits assault by throwing a piece of wood at her, and is fleeing on foot. I think that an officer could articulate that the use of deadly force could be justifiable to immediately stop a suspected murderer.
        "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

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        • #5
          Someone I suspect of several murders and I see them destroying evidence of another? I am going to employ deadly force to prevent their escape. I can easily argue they are an immediate danger to society.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 99TAC View Post
            Why do you say that the officer could not shoot the fleeing male? Under Tennessee v Garner, along with my state's rules and dept policy; an officer may use deadly force on a fleeing felon who comitted a forcible felony, poses a threat to officers or the public if not stopped, and when the need to apprehend the subject is immediately necessary for public safety. If I recall, in the movie the actor has already committed murders, including that of a police officer, has just killed another person and is destroying the body (evidence), and now refuses commands from an officer to surrender, commits assault by throwing a piece of wood at her, and is fleeing on foot. I think that an officer could articulate that the use of deadly force could be justifiable to immediately stop a suspected murderer.
            which is why the answer also says 'in certain circumstances'......

            btw, good luck with that one here in SoCal.......if you felt you needed to use deadly force, and then say you deliberately shot the guy in the leg? There is no 'shooting to wound' here.
            The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

            "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

            "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RaucousSilence View Post
              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
              What he said.




              Training Day?

              In all seriousness, Colors is pretty good. Southland is great, as far as TV shows go. They just leave out all the paperwork. Ditto to The Wire. And American Gangster wasn't bad.
              My answer applies to them as well.....none of them are all that accurate......you can pick any of them apart into little pieces.....and Southland, accurate?......really?.....
              The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

              "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

              "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

              Comment


              • #8
                The "aiming for the leg" is Hollywood fluff.

                But shooting a fleeing serial killer? Sure.
                All Gave Some - Some Gave All

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                • #9
                  I've seen this movie several times. I've never automatically assumed that she intentionally shot him in the leg. In fact, I'm pretty sure she misses with at least one shot before she hits him - kinda indicates to me that she was just trying to hit him, period (and if she was such a crack shot that she could aim for and hit the leg just to stop him, I doubt she would have missed at all).

                  But otherwise, deadly force on a fleeing subject that you believe likely to pose a threat to others? Absolutely.

                  All that said, it's probably best not to over-analyze anything Hollywood does.
                  "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
                    My answer applies to them as well.....none of them are all that accurate......you can pick any of them apart into little pieces.....and Southland, accurate?......really?.....
                    Southland does a better job showing the BS day-to-day calls that I deal with (adjusted for the big city, but still) than any other scripted show I've ever seen. Not to mention, the street officer characters are a fair representative of "that guy" that exists in every department. They're all concentrated into one shift for one precinct (division, whatever), to be sure, and they don't film the hours of paperwork, but for conveying the tone of day to day operations, Southland does pretty well.
                    The academy teaches you skills, the street gives you experience, but it all comes down to your instinct.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RaucousSilence View Post
                      Southland does a better job showing the BS day-to-day calls that I deal with (adjusted for the big city, but still) than any other scripted show I've ever seen. Not to mention, the street officer characters are a fair representative of "that guy" that exists in every department. They're all concentrated into one shift for one precinct (division, whatever), to be sure, and they don't film the hours of paperwork, but for conveying the tone of day to day operations, Southland does pretty well.
                      I like Southland but it is a bit over-dramatic. I think I just like it because "Bull" is in it! I liked him better when he was pulling shrapnel out of his back in a barn in 40s Europe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's what happens when you use a .38 snub-nose to shoot distance. The round lands "somewhere". So actually, if she was aiming for his center mass, it was a realistic hit.
                        Free Deke O'Mally!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeMoran View Post
                          I know movies are of course fictional and for the purposes of entertainment, but I have always been curious if the final scene would have played out even close to how it did in the movie in the real world.
                          Actually, Fargo claimed to be a true story.

                          Originally posted by MikeMoran View Post
                          1. When Marge sees a tan Oldsmobile Ciera (vehicle she was looking for and believed to be driven by suspected multiple murderers who have already killed a police officer) way out in a remote camp site, she radios it in and then approaches by herself. Would that ever happen in real life? She knew there were probably two (at least two) murderers she was dealing with possibly at the location.
                          In rural areas, yes.

                          Originally posted by MikeMoran View Post
                          2. When the guy stuffing his partner through the wood chipper runs, she shoots him from behind in the leg. Would that be allowed in most departments? I don't know the laws/regulations on shooting someone who is fleeing.
                          Given that he was already a suspect in five murders (including a cop) that was both legal and appropriate. I doubt she was aiming for the leg.

                          Originally posted by MikeMoran View Post
                          3. Marge's character is pregnant (pretty well along) during the movie. Would a pregnant officer, even after shooting someone in the leg, risk getting close enough to him to handcuff him and bring him in? I can just see a lot of ways that would go wrong, the character she arrested was a pretty big guy and obviously dangerous.
                          But she succeeded. And yes, I've known pregnant officers to work the street but they usually park it at a desk for the last few months.
                          Last edited by jakflak; 03-22-2011, 01:48 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Yes you can shoot him, fleeing felon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by beachcop05 View Post
                              Yes you can shoot him, fleeing felon.
                              A fleeing violent felon who poses an immediate risk. The basic "fleeing felon" part was declared unconstitutional with Tennessee vs. Garner.

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