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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
204 ( 278)

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 #173 | 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:

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

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 President George H.W. Bush 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 house; 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

The briefcase that Brandt gives The Dude is not large enough to hold one million dollars in twenty dollar bills. One "Brick" of twenty dollar bills contains one thousand bills. Which is twenty-thousand dollars. It would take 50 (fifty) "Bricks" to make up the one million dollars in twenty dollar bills. Hence, The Dude would have needed a much larger briefcase. 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

Baby Wranglers: Howls/Giggles/Marmots 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 »


Soundtracks

Lookin' Out My Back Door
Written by John Fogerty
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Published by Jondora Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Fantasy Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Respectable Raunch
29 July 1999 | by Movieguy-47See 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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