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The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 6 March 1998 (USA)
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Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Popularity
165 ( 71)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

Top Rated Movies #171 | 5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... The Dude
John Goodman ... Walter Sobchak
Julianne Moore ... Maude Lebowski
Steve Buscemi ... Theodore Donald 'Donny' Kerabatsos
David Huddleston ... The Big Lebowski
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Brandt
Tara Reid ... Bunny Lebowski
Philip Moon ... Woo, Treehorn Thug
Mark Pellegrino ... Blond Treehorn Thug
Peter Stormare ... Nihilist #1, Uli Kunkel / 'Karl Hungus'
Flea ... Nihilist #2, Kieffer
Torsten Voges ... Nihilist #3, Franz
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Jimmie Dale Gilmore ... Smokey
Jack Kehler ... Marty
John Turturro ... Jesus Quintana
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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 ahmetkozan

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | Hebrew | Spanish

Release Date:

6 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Lebowski See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,533,844, 8 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,498,804

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,189,568
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a local newspaper in Akron, Ohio, the "Medina Sod" bowling shirt The Dude wears in the movie is a real 1960s bowling shirt found in a thrift store in Los Angeles. It belonged to a man named Art Myers, who was the foreman at Medina Sod in Medina, Ohio. See more »

Goofs

The first sex offender laws, like those which would require Jesus Quintana to notify his neighbors of his paedophilic record, weren't implemented in California until 1996. 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 »

Alternate Versions

When Comedy Central, in removing the 200+ "fucks" from the movie, was attempting to edit the scene where Walter is smashing the car, they didn't know how to cut Walter saying "do you see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass" without having to do severe, overly obvious editing which would look fake. To solve this they decided just to re-dub it, and the phrase they chose? "Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps?". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Piacere Sequence
Written and Performed by Teo Usuelli
Published by West Edizioni Musicali (SIAE)
Courtesy of West Edizioni Musicali
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Most Quotable Film of All Time
5 December 2002 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

Those Coen brothers have an ear for language. You feel it in the sing-songy banalities of Fargo, and in the noiresque machine-gun dialogue of Miller's Crossing, but neither of these can prepare you for the feast for the ears that is The Big Lebowski.

Channeling the opaque mysteries of Raymond Chandler, the Coens throw LA resident bum and Bowling aficionado Jeff Lebowski ("The Dude" to his friends) into a strange triple-crossing case of kidnapping, ransoms, nihilists and urinated-upon rugs. It is the equivalent of throwing unrelenting forces at an immovable object, the Dude's bemused stoicism at constant odds with the world around him. He'd much rather be bowling with crazed Vietnam Vet Walter (John Goodman) and pure silent soul Donnie (Steve Buscemi).

As with so much of the Coens' output, style is more than half the point: not just visual, though ace DP Roger Deakins paints an alluring canvas, but tonal and auditory. This is an insanely funny head-trip of a movie, with wonderfully idiosyncratic characters, down to the smallest part. Who better than the Coens to reinvent the comedy of errors?

This is without a doubt one of their very best, a personal favorite, an unmissable film and the kind of experience that will plant an indelible smile on your face. Do yourself and see this now, if you haven't already.


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