A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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
John Turturro originally thought he was going to have a bigger role in the film; when he read the script, he realized the part was quite small. However, the Coen brothers let him come up with a lot of his own ideas for the character, like shining the bowling ball and the scene where he dances backwards, which he says was inspired by Muhammad Ali. See more »
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 »
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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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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