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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

When they started writing the script, the Coens wrote only forty pages and then let it sit for a while before finishing it. This is a normal writing process for them, because they often "encounter a problem at a certain stage, we pass to another project, then we come back to the first script. That way we've already accumulated pieces for several future movies." See more »

Goofs

When Marty invites The Dude to view his performance, he says it will be "on Tuesday night." This night continues on, ending with The Dude asking Walter to pick him up, to which Walter replies that it is "Erev Shabbos." Erev Shabbos is observed on Friday night. 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

Production Goddess ... Karyn Anonia 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 Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Nostalgia Critic Fuckups (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Hotel California
Written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder
Performed by Gipsy Kings (as The Gipsy Kings)
Published by Cass County Music (BMI) / Red Cloud Music (BMI) / Fingers Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and PEM/SINE (Sony Music Independent Network Europe)
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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