My Favourite Mystery Movie

18 Aug

This is the first post of a rolling blog tour on the topic of Favorite Mystery Movies.  To read previous blog tours, check out Red Herrings, Please Don’t Ask Me, Plots That Refuse to Thicken, 10 Must-Have Books for Every Writer, and The Case of the Stolen Idea.  At the bottom of this post you’ll find the remaining participants in today’s tour, and a link to the next article in the series.

Deciding on a favourite mystery movie was tough for me, since I have a lot of favourites, mostly oldies—I love the Maltese Falcon and the Sam Spade character, and anything with Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.

But I’ve chosen the dark-comedy crime film Fargo (1996) to blog about, since I feel it’s in a class by itself.

I loved this movie because it’s quirky and contains humour, and that’s what I write. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the humour when you’re writing about murder and dead bodies, so when a movie comes along that strikes the right chord in me, I’m drawn to it.

Fargo also starred a few of my favourite actors (Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi) who played some memorable characters. Even the secondary characters were compelling, which made this a special story.

The plot reels you in with the tale of a desperate loser (William H. Macy) who hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom money from his father-in-law. Despite his plans, which end up spinning wildly out of control and into bloodshed and tragedy, Macy’s character is easy to root for. There are unexpected twists, including comedic moments and some frightening violence. The plot is character driven, and all of the elements come from the motivation and decisions of the characters. I think it was the juxtaposition of strange humour against the backdrop of psychopaths, kidnapping and murder that made this movie so delightfully different. Along with a well-written script and wonderful acting.

Frances McDormand plays a pregnant police chief who investigates the ensuing mayhem. She is engaging and intelligent, and makes a compelling heroine. She’s sweet and caring, but not naïve. I liked the fact that the protagonist of this film was a woman, since all of my protagonists are women, too.

The setting was unique (the snowy American Midwest) and almost becomes a character itself, with its vast, ominous landscape.

If you haven’t seen Fargo, I highly recommend it. Do you have a favourite mystery movie?

To learn about favorite mystery movies of other mystery authors, check out the next stop on the blog tour:

Ryder Islington –

10 Responses to “My Favourite Mystery Movie”

  1. Kathleen Kaska August 19, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    This is a great movie! I was scared to laugh because I didn’t know what horror was around the corner. Our book and movie interests are very similar; Dashiell Hammett, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Chrisite (more on this on our Monday blog).
    I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. Thanks for reminding me about Fargo. I think I’ll rent it today.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon August 19, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. Great idea, I might rent it also! And of course, I’ll have to get popcorn. And chocolate. And sour ju jubes.


  2. Ryder Islington August 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    It’s funny that we both choose the older movies. I enjoyed Murder She Wrote, and of course the original Sherlock Holmes movies. They just don’t make’em like that anymore. I’d forgotten about Fargo. Good post.

  3. Angela Scott August 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I love Fargo! Dark humor and twisted mysteries are a fav of mine. Loved that movie and I LOVED the pregnant police officer and her husband. My favorite of the characters.

    Ahh, now I’m going to have to go and rewatch that movie again. It’s been awhile. Good thing I have Netflix.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon August 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

      Yeah, she played a great character. Thanks for stopping by, Angela!

      • Selena Robins Musings August 20, 2011 at 8:52 am #

        I also am a fan of classic movies, and for mystery I love Hitchcock movies, two of my favorites are “Rear Window” and “Marnie.” I remember watching the Birds, although, that may be more horror than mystery and to this day I do not like birds. LOL

        Great Blog, Nancy!

  4. nancyelizabethlauzon August 21, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Rear Window was in the top 5 for me, for sure. Love Grace Kelly. Thanks for your comments, Selena!

  5. ben November 15, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    I love a new mystery movies. Himself assembled a small list of the mysterious movie here . I hope you lind with me the joy of watching movies. A large collection of mystery movies online.


  1. Janet Evanovich and a Few Sour Plums « The Chick Dick Mysteries - August 21, 2011

    […] blog tour on the topic of Mystery Authors Who Inspire Us. To read previous blog tours, check out My Favorite Mystery Movie, The Lure of the Red Herring and Please Don’t Ask Me, among others.  At the bottom of this […]

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