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The Big Lebowski (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  6 March 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 494,419 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 1,015 user | 245 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

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


, (uncredited)


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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


(Israel, translated from Hebrew): Lebowski: Not a man, a way of life 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?


People mention peeing on the dude's rug 17 times. They also mention that the rug "really tied the room together" 5 times. See more »


In the opening sequence, Jesus' bowling partner is bowling with teal Rhino Pro bowling ball which was not available until 1993. 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

Production Goddess ... Karyn Anonia See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.67 (2008) See more »


Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Performed by Debbie Reynolds
Published by St. Angelo Music,
Administered by MCA Music Publishing, A division of Universal Studios, Inc. (ASCAP) / Jay Livingston Music,
Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My favourite Coen brothers movie and one of the most entertaining and original comedies ever made!
27 December 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

My favourite Coen brothers movie changes over the years as I watch and rewatch their amazingly original and consistently surprising oeuvre. When I first saw 'The Big Lebowski' on its original release I enjoyed it but thought it was a bit of a slight "fun" movie with less depth than many of their previous works. Now, a few years and several viewing later, I have come to realise just how accomplished a movie it is, and it has become one of my all time favourite movies. Other film makers have attempted to weave together various genres, styles and images in a similarly eclectic, postmodern fashion, but few do it as seamlessly and with such wit as Ethan and Joel Coen. 'The Big Lewboski' is an extremely smart film, but it doesn't shout "look at me! Aren't I clever?". It sucks you in from the get go, and bottom line it is FUNNY, and as it is a comedy that's what counts the most! Everything about the movie is perfect, the script, the direction, set design, costumes, and the wonderful soundtrack (one of the most brilliant ever assembled, it includes lesser known Dylan and Elvis Costello numbers, Creedence classics, and songs from cult favourites like Yma Sumac, Captain Beefheart, Moondog, Esquivel and garage gods The Monks). Plus of course the actors, who are well cast and virtually flawless. Jeff Bridges ('Fat City', 'Starman') IS The Dude, and it's impossible to think of anyone else acting the role. Coen regulars John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Peter Stomare, and Jon Polito are all on board, as well as Julianne Moore ('Boogie Nights'), David Huddleston ('Capricorn One'), Philip Seymour Hoffman ('Magnolia') and Sam Elliot ('Mask'), even surprise cameos from Ben Gazzara ('The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie') and singer Jimmie Ray Gilmore. I can't fault 'The Big Lebowski', it is one of the most original and entertaining comedies ever made and a genuine modern classic. It's movies like this that keep me watching despite the endless mountain of mindless garbage that Hollywood continually spews out. If only every movie in the box office Top Ten was as inspired and amusing as this one!

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
What was the point..... clarastoria
How the heck did they round up a cast like that mykemu
Why does this get labelled as a 'stoner film'? onourway55-236-843584
Not a Pomeranian... lydiaann27
Dude is nihilist also? CursedChico
The dismembered toe belonged to the Nihilist's girlfriend, right? eyeforbeauty
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