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The Big Lebowski (1998)

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"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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, (uncredited)

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301 ( 113)
Top Rated Movies #162 | 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

It takes guys as simple as the Dude and Walter to make a story this complicated... and they'd really rather be bowling. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

6 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Lebowski  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$17,439,163 (USA) (29 May 1998)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nearly all of the visible symbols in The Dude's second dream sequence are taken from earlier scenes: The initial scene of The Dude's exaggerated walking while casting a big shadow is similar to his landlord's interpretive dance to "Pictures at an Exhibition"; the black and white tiled floor is seen earlier in the Big Lebowski's entry way when The Dude walks with Brandt, and again at the end; the tool belt and workman outfit The Dude is seen wearing is identical to the one worn by Karl Hungus (Peter Stormare) in Logjammin'; Saddam Hussein, who is standing behind the counter, is mentioned briefly by Walter in the car outside the bowling alley, we hear George Bush Sr. comment on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and in the opening credits, we see a man looking a bit similar to Saddam spraying the bowling shoes at the alley; Maude's gold bowling ball bra cups are taken from bowling balls seen on the rack behind Walter in an earlier scene at the bowling alley; Maude Lebowski's trident is from a statue at The Big Lebowski's home; the red-on-black bowling ball is the same as the one in the earlier dream sequence and is also visible on the rack behind Walter and The Dude at the bowling alley; the topless girl falling through a black frame is almost the same shot that opened the scene in which the Dude shows up at Jackie Treehorn's party; the scissors wielded by the red-clad Nihilists are seen in a painting with a red background on Maude's wall. See more »

Goofs

When The Dude is driving, and first notices the blue Volkswagen following him, the hood-mounted camera equipment is reflected in his sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

[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

Left Behind ... Margareth Hayes See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 South Park Episodes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Behave Yourself
Written by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson Jr. and Lewie Steinberg
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T. & The MG's)
Published by Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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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