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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
177 ( 116)

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 #168 | 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:

Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail. 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 drinks nine White Russians during the course of the movie. (He drops one of them at Jackie Treehorn's mansion.) See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, Jesus' bowling partner is bowling with teal Rhino Pro bowling ball which was not available until 1993. 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

Big Associate Editor.... Big Dave Diliberto See more »

Alternate Versions

The version which premiered on USA Network in September, 2000 has been severely cut (aside from the usual edits for content). Among the story lines excised are virtually all the scenes involving Jesus Quintana (John Turturro), the private eye from Minnesota (Jon Polito) looking for Bunny Lebowski and the scene where Maud is trying to conceive The Dude's child. See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Tideland (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Glück das mir verblieb
from the Opera "Die tote Stadt"
Written and Conducted by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performed by Ilona Steingruber, Anton Dermota and Österreichischer Rundfunk (as the Austrian State Radio Orchestra)
Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Corporation, Agent for Schott Musik International
Courtesy of Cambria Master Recordings
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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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