THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
Now there is this movie by the Coen brothers The Big Lebowski which became a great cult movie by 1998 and one of my favorite movie of all time. 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. A true comedy classic with so many memorable lines and characters, but it’s the movie’s atmosphere which is so truly joyous, a wonderful celebration of basically doing nothing. In a version that was edited for television broadcasts, the famous line “This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!” was changed to “This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!”, which is regularly cited as one of the most “creative” edits made for a film to be aired on TV. The screenplay was written with Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Sam Elliott in mind. The bowling alley scenes were filmed at the former Holly Star Lanes near Santa Monica and the 101 Freeway exit ramp. The bowling alley has since been torn down and a new elementary school stands in its place. The house in which the dude meets with Jackie Treehorn was designed by architect John Lautner. The movie makes it look as though it sits on the beach, in actuality it sits on the side of a hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles. A lot of the Dude’s clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges’s own clothes, including his Jellies sandals. Almost all the music on the soundtrack is revealed to be playing on a radio at some point. Examples: “The Man in Me” in the first dream sequence fades out after The Dude wakes up, but we still hear it, tinny and distant on his Walkman. “Hotel California” plays through out the entire scene with Jesus at the bowling alley, and even during the brief flashback, apparently as a song playing on the alley’s PA system. The big band music that plays as The Dude leaves his house fades and is heard playing on Da Fino’s car radio as they talk. Additionally, at the beginning of the film, the opening song, “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds”, fades into a muzak version of itself as the Dude shops for his creamer in the grocery store; when it cuts to the Dude outside the store, the song has faded back into its original version. Nearly all of the visible symbols in The Dude’s second dream sequence are taken from earlier scenes: – the black and white tile is seen earlier in the Big Lebowski’s entry way when The Dude walks with Brandt and again at the end – the tool belt and workman outfit The Dude is seen wearing is identical to the one worn by Karl Hungus in Logjammin’ – Saddam Hussein is mentioned briefly by Walter in the car outside the bowling alley; in the opening credits, we see a man looking a bit similar to Saddam spraying the bowling shoes at the alley – Maude’s gold bowling ball bra cups are taken from bowling balls seen on the rack behind Walter in an earlier scene at the bowling alley – the scissors wielded by the red-clad Nihilists are seen in a painting with a red background on Maude’s wall – the red-on-black bowling ball is the same as the one in the earlier dream sequence and is also visible on the rack behind Walter and The Dude at the bowling alley. – The initial scene of The Dude’s exaggerated walking in while casting a big shadow is similar to his landlord’s shadow dance to “Pictures at an Exhibition.” – Maude Lebowski’s trident is from a statue at The Big Lebowski’s home. The fast-food restaurant In & Out Burger is referred to during the movie, for which John Goodman once did a commercial. Share this The private detective that’s following Lebowski says that Bunny’s family is from a farm “outside Moorhead, Minnesota”. Moorhead is the home town of Jeff Bridges’ wife and is located directly across the state line from Fargo. (Fargo was the title of the Coen brothers’ previous film). Bunny’s high school cheer-leading photo shows her wearing orange and black, the real school colors of Moorhead. The word “dude” is used around 161 times in the movie. 160 spoken and once in text in the credits for “Gutterballs” the second dream sequence. The F-word or a variation of the F-word is used 292 times. The Dude says “man” 147 times in the movie, nearly 1.5 times a minute. Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” in 2006. he Dude drinks nine White Russians during the course of the movie. (He drops one of them at Jackie Treehorn’s mansion.) Charlize Theron was considered for the role of Bunny Lebowski. The Dude’s car is a 4-door 1973 Ford Torino. Two vehicles were used in filming: one was destroyed during the filming, the other was destroyed in the filming of The X-Files: Of all the different personalized bowling shirts Donny wears throughout the film, none of them bears his name. Recipe for making a White Russian: 2 parts vodka, 1 part coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa) and 1 part cream. Served with ice in a low ball glass. The Dude is in every scene of the movie, with the exception of the scene where the Nihilists are ordering pancakes. This is in keeping with the traditional film-noir, in which the protagonist is the narrator and acts as the audience’s guide throughout the film. The man shown bowling in the picture on The Dude’s wall is President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an avid bowler; the picture in the movie is a well-publicized shot of Nixon in the bowling alley underneath the White House. The $0.69 check the Dude writes at Ralph’s for half and half is dated September 11, 1991, exactly ten years before the 9/11 attacks. While he is writing the check, George Bush can be heard on the television railing against Saddam Hussein.