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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
373 ( 60)

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

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) tells Maude (Julianne Moore) he was a roadie for Metallica on their (fictional) "Speed of Sound" tour and refers to the band members as a "bunch of assholes". Metallica themselves were flattered to be referred to in a Coen Brothers movie, with guitarist Kirk Hammett once noting in an interview that they'd tried to think of a way to incorporate that scene into their live shows. See more »

Goofs

When The Dude and Walter are making the money drop off, after Walter jumps out and The Dude crashes the car, when The Dude runs out saying "We have the money," police lights blocking off the road they are filming on are clearly visible. 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 Certifiably Jonathan (2007) 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

Simply Beautiful
16 October 2004 | by butterfingerSee 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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