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The Big Lebowski (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  6 March 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 484,711 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 1,012 user | 245 critic | 22 from

"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Woo, Treehorn Thug
Nihilist #1, Uli Kunkel / 'Karl Hungus'
Nihilist #2, Kieffer
Nihilist #3, Franz
Jimmie Dale Gilmore ...


When "The Dude" Lebowski is mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, two thugs urinate on his rug to coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. While attempting to gain recompense for the ruined rug from his wealthy counterpart, he accepts a one-time job with high pay-off. He enlists the help of his bowling buddy, Walter, a gun-toting Jewish-convert with anger issues. Deception leads to more trouble, and it soon seems that everyone from porn empire tycoons to nihilists want something from The Dude. Written by J. Lake

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail. See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

6 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Lebowski  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,533,844 (USA) (6 March 1998)


£1,462,880 (UK) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Of all the different personalized bowling shirts Donny wears throughout the film, none of them bears his name. See more »


The movie is said to take place at the time of the first Iraq war in early 1991; many references indicate that it's set a few months before, during the troop build-up in late 1990. But when the Dude makes out a check at the beginning of the movie, it's dated 9-11-1991. See more »


[first lines]
The Stranger: [voiceover] Way out west there was this fella... fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Lebowski, he called himself "The Dude". Now, "Dude" - that's a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that's why I ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Big Associate Editor.... Big Dave Diliberto See more »


Referenced in Certifiably Jonathan (2007) See more »


Dead Flowers
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Published by ABKCO Music, Inc.
Performed by Townes van Zandt
Courtesy of Sugar Hill Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Respectable Raunch
29 July 1999 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

The Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) are the most innovative and, perhaps, the best filmmakers working today. Or they at least rank along side the likes of Martin Scorsese and rising director star Quentin Tarantino. Think about it: "Blood Simple" was the best film of 1984; "Raising Arizona" was the best film of 1987; "Miller's Crossing" was the best movie of 1990; "Barton Fink" was the best movie of 1991; and "Fargo" was the best movie of 1996. Now comes their latest effort, "The Big Lebowski," which, while it isn't in quite the same league as the above films, is still one of the most thoroughly entertaining movies of 1998.

It tells the shambling story of a man named Jeff Lebowski, who calls himself The Dude (Jeff Bridges). The Dude's apartment gets broken into and a thief urinates on his rug. He finds out that the criminals were not looking for him, but looking for the OTHER Jeff Lebowski, the disabled millionaire (played by David Huddleston). That's all I can tell you. The rest is really too bizarre and complicated to put into words; but it's bizarre and complicated in the best ways of the words.

Still, what I'll remember most about "The Big Lebowski" is the outstanding number of utterly terrific performances. Bridges delivers the best performance of his career and probably the best of the year as a bum lie-about who just wants to be left alone. John Goodman is the real comic gem here as the forever-loudmouthed Walter, The Dude's bowling partner and best friend. Steve Buscemi co-stars as the dimwitted, bug-eyed Donny, the third bowling partner; there's a small but interestingly offbeat spot for Julianne Moore; and John Torturro stops in, as Jesus the bowler, for what is probably the best walk-on performance in years. If you are a Coen brothers fan or like humor that is distinctly offbeat, you have found your movie. As a rather avid moviegoer, I found the film to be a great excersise in pointless extremeties and respectable raunch. Rated R. 117 minutes. 10 out of 10.

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Aussie Remake: The Big Lebo bryzabreen
What was the point..... clarastoria
Why does this get labelled as a 'stoner film'? onourway55-236-843584
Not a Pomeranian... lydiaann27
How the heck did they round up a cast like that mykemu
Dude is nihilist also? CursedChico
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