8.2/10
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The Big Lebowski (1998)

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

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, (uncredited)

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,
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Top Rated Movies #165 | 4 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Woo, Treehorn Thug
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Nihilist #1, Uli Kunkel / 'Karl Hungus'
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Nihilist #2, Kieffer
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Nihilist #3, Franz
Jimmie Dale Gilmore ...
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Marty
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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 J. Lake

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

6 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Lebowski  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,533,844 (USA) (8 March 1998)

Gross:

$17,451,873 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the film's look, the Coens wanted to avoid the usual retro 1960s clichés like lava lamps, Day-Glo posters, and Grateful Dead music and for it to be "consistent with the whole bowling thing, we wanted to keep the movie pretty bright and poppy", Joel said in an interview. For example, the star motif featured predominantly throughout the film, started with the film's production designer Richard Heinrichs' design for the bowling alley. According to Joel Coen, he "came up with the idea of just laying free-form neon stars on top of it and doing a similar free-form star thing on the interior". This carried over to the film's dream sequences. "Both dream sequences involve star patterns and are about lines radiating to a point. In the first dream sequence, the Dude gets knocked out and you see stars and they all coalesce into the overhead nightscape of L.A. The second dream sequence is an astral environment with a backdrop of stars", remembers Heinrichs. For Jackie Treehorn's Malibu beach house, he was inspired by late 1950s and early 1960s bachelor pad furniture. See more »

Goofs

After Jesus's introduction, the dude shows Walter the pager that Lebowski gave him. While fixing the pager to his shirt's neck-hole, he speaks directly into the lavalier microphone under his shirt, making his voice louder and slightly distorted. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

Baby Wranglers: Howls/Giggles/Marmots See more »

Connections

Referenced in How I Met Your Mother: The Slutty Pumpkin Returns (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 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

 
The film with the highest rewatchability factor of all time
3 November 2015 | by (wherever good films play) – See all my reviews

It's actually kind of hard to describe this movie (and what's so great about it) to people who don't already know it and love it; as with many cult films, The Big Lebowski will either speak to you (in which case you will become a fervent follower of His Dudeness and abide by his code for the rest of your life) or, if it doesn't, the film will either leave you completely indifferent or you'll even downright hate it.

I believe it's a very funny film and I'm sure it can be rightfully called a comedy, but don't expect punchlines, gags, jokes or slapstick

  • it's not that kind of comedy. If you want to enjoy this film, you
have to meet Jeffery "The Dude" Lebowski by his terms, hang out with him and his bowling buddies and follow them at a their (perhaps somewhat leisurely) pace through this weird and unbelievable tale about nihilism, theft (of a car and, more importantly: a Creedence Clearwater Revival tape), kidnapping, abstract art, porn and - of course - bowling.

The story is actually kind of simple. You see, some no-good German nihilists urinated on The Dude's rug - and this kind of aggression just won't stand against The Dude. With the help of his bowling buddies, he will do everything in his power to get someone to pay for his rug - or possibly get a new one (because that rug really tied the room together). So he embarks on this worthy quest during which he will encounter many wondrous things and fascinating people (even Jesus - who is NOT the messiah but a very naughty man).

With Jeff Bridges in the leading role, the Coen brothers have found the perfect actor to incorporate one of the most iconic characters that has ever been created. But it's not just The Dude that makes this a winner; the whole film is such an inspired folly and simply inventive filmmaking at its finest (the hilarious dream sequence alone is worth the price of admission). The supporting cast is outstanding (J.Turturro, J.Goodman and S.Buscemi among many others), the song choices are perfect and the dialog is the funniest, most quotable in any comedy I've ever seen. This - for me - is without a doubt the film with the highest rewatchability factor of all time. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/


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