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The Big Lebowski (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  6 March 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 495,184 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


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
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Did You Know?


According to the plaque on the dog carrier, the Pomeranian's name is Thurston. See more »


In the dream sequence when Lebowski glides down the aisle through the dancer's legs you can see the mount holding him in horizontal position under his shirt. 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 »


References Spellbound (1945) See more »


Hotel California
Written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder
Performed by Gipsy Kings (as The Gipsy Kings)
Published by Cass County Music (BMI) / Red Cloud Music (BMI) / Fingers Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and PEM/SINE (Sony Music Independent Network Europe)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simply Beautiful
16 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's a travesty that most critics only read The Big Lebowski at its most superficial level and called it a modern take on a Raymond Chandler potboiler. I simply can't begin to perceive how one could sit down in front of this cinematic pop-poetry, as it plates gold on the silver screen, and not feel so incredibly alive. The dream sequence Busbee Berkley musical numbers are unique and awe-inspiring; the humor is rich, subtle, and clever in the way it satirizes politically correct arrogance; the free-flowing story avoids (even pokes fun at) nonessentials like plot points and pay-offs. But what really makes this film such a masterpiece, such a panacea, is the incredible humanism, the care that the Coen brothers put in developing The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Walter (John Goodman), Donnie (Steve Buscemi-tremendously endearing), and Brandt (magnificently played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Looking at the films use of Sam Elliott to play The Stranger, who constantly rambles about the many wonders of The Dude (among other things), it is clear that the film is an ode to a Dudist way of life. And in a time where so many film promise that they have the answer to the worlds problems and end up as slick, stylistic show-off films, what more could one ask for than a good-hearted film like this? Not to mention the performance by Jeff Bridges, which ranks among the best performances of the nineties; he has a relaxed slouch, a goofy smile, an enthusiastic dance, and his buttons can only be pushed by Walter, who John Goodman plays with charm and fury. The Coen brothers have always been considered 'cold' filmmakers, but there is nothing here but warmth and humanity (as is the case with the Coens' Fargo). What we have here is one of the greatest achievements in modern cinema and if you can't see that, grab a White Russian, hit the bowling ally, and find your inner-Dude as soon as possible.

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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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