The Big Lebowski (1998)

A review by Shlomoh Sherman
November 30, 2014

The Big Lebowski (1998)
Plot: "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, 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
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
Plot Summary - Plot Synopsis
Plot Keywords: rug - white russian - bowling - pot - bowling alley
Taglines: Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail.
Genres: Comedy - Crime
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence
Country: USA - UK
Language: English - German - Hebrew - Spanish
Release Date: March 6, 1998 (USA)
Also Known As: Big Lebowski
Filming Locations: 10231 Charing Cross Road, Beverly Hills, California, USA
Company Credits
Production Co: Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Working Title Films
Runtime: 117 min
Color: Color (Technicolor)

As I pointed out in my review of MY COUSIN VINNY ,there are some movies that I have to see twice in order to get how really funny they are. These are the movies which the first time I see them leave me cold. NAPOLEON DYNOMITE and DUDE WHERE'S MY CAR are two such examples. And of course, THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

And it turns out that other reviewers also feel they have to see it more than once to determine whether or not is was even worth seeing the first time around.

J. Lake, in his review notes, "The first time I saw this movie, I will admit that I enjoyed it, but did not fully appreciate its level of humor and raw talent." But he also adds, "You can watch it a million times, and yet, it will never get old.

Whereas Jay Brown posted on the IMDB message board, "Tried it again and I still don't like it."

Well what about LEBOWSKI turned me off? If I can remember correctly, it seemed that it was a stupid movie about a non-productive bum who just gets in trouble simply because he is a bum. And the character of Walter Sobchak played by John Goodman came across as insulting because Sobchak is supposedly an Orthodox Sabbath observing Jew who acts like the same type of obnoxious bum as "The Dude". I managed to blot out the rest of the movie from my memory after my friends started raving about how funny and great this Coen brothers film is.

So why did I bother watching it again? THE BIG LEBOWSKI is one of those movies that keeps playing on cable TV and I usually ignore it. But ths pasr week I decided to watch it again to see just what my friends found funny. Unlike Jay Brown, I tried it again and laughed my ass off. How could I not have known, back in 1998 that the Coen brothers produce hits?

Jeff Bridges plays the Dude Lebowski who is mistaken for a millionaire who is the BIG Lebowski. The millionaire has gotten himself in trouble with gangsters when his young, sexy trophy wife runs up a million dollar debt with the afore-mentioned thugs. The gangsters come to the Dude's home and rough him up. One of them even urinates on his rug. When the Dude discovers who the Big Lebowski is, he visits him in order to get him to pay for his favorite rug ruined by the pssing.

From there, the story broadens out with a sub plot involving the kidnapping of Bunny Lebowski, the trophy wife, and the Dude's and Sobchak's attempt to pay the ransome and return Bunny to her husband.

The plot becomes ever more convoluted and bizarre, and the more convoluted, the funnier.

Rather than going into more detail at the risk of getting into spoiler alerts, I'll just say that if you haven't seen it already, look for it on cable. It's a regular that is played at least several times a month.

Reviewer cleaf (Vail, CO) noted, "John Goodman should have won an oscar for best supporting actor for his character, Walter Sobchak). . . Steve Buscemi is unique in every Coen Brother movie)." Frankly the character played by Buscemi is weak and not essential to the story. Buscemi is a wonderful actor and my opinion is that his talent was wasted here.

Kudos to:
Jeff Bridges [The Dude] who has long been a favorite of mine, especially after his performance as the alien in STARMAN. The son of actot Lloyd Bridges, Jeff has a very wide acting range.
John Goodman [Walter Sobchak], is perfect for this role. Of the many roles that I have seen him in, the one that always stand out in my mind is not a comic role. It is his understated role as a police detective in the supernatural thriller, FALLEN.
Julianne Moore [Maude Lebowski], Big Lebowski's daughter. Since I saw her in the second JURASSIC PARK, I have been in love with her. Her films include THE FORGOTTEN, HANNIBAL, and of course there is her terrific portrayal as Sarah Palin in GAME CHANGE.
Steve Buscemi [Theodore Donald 'Donny' Kerabatsos] was, as I stated above, wasted on this movie. His role could have been played by a lesser known, less talented actor for all his character's affect on the story.
Philip Seymour Hoffman [Brandt], Big Lebowski's personal secretary. What can I say about Hoffman who tragically passed away earlier this year? This man was such a sensational actor that any praise I could give him would not be sufficient. From the first time I saw him in BOOGIE NIGHTS, along with Julianne Moore, to his recent appearence in A MOST WANTED MAN , his performances are wonderful. And I must also mention his great role as the female impersonator in FLAWLESS.
John Turturro [Jesus Quintana], is the outrageously funny bowling pro who appears in many of the scenes that take place in the bowling alley frequented by the Dude. I remember the first film in which I saw him, QUIZ SHOW, where he delivered a performance so out of character with other roles in which he has appeared. I also remember him very vividly in the Stephen King film, SECRET WINDOW, in which he played a very scary antagonist.

Did You Know?
When The Dude and Walter are bowling after the botched ransom drop off, Walter says "EITZ CHAIM HI, Dude, as the ex used to say." This is the first half of a Hebrew verse, which means "It is a tree of life" (the second half of the verse is "LAMACHAZIKIM BA", which means "to those who take hold of it") and it refers to the Old Testament.
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.
A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges's own clothes, including his Jellies sandals.
The Dude says "man" 147 times in the movie, nearly 1.5 times a minute.
The Dude is in every scene of the movie. Even in the scene where the Nihilists are ordering pancakes you can see the van in which the Dude and Walter are driving. 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.
In an early draft of the script, The Dude's source of income was revealed. He was an heir to the inventor of the Rubik's Cube. It was Joel Coen's idea to drop this and never say.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, John Goodman stated that The Dude referring to The Big Lebowski as a "human paraquat" was one of the only improvised lines to make it into the final film. Virtually every other line, including every 'man' and 'dude,' was scripted.
While being a member of the bowling team, the Dude is the only one never seen bowling throughout the movie.
John Goodman's favorite film of his own.
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 reason Steve Buscemi's character, Donny, is constantly being told to "Shut the fuck up!" by Walter (John Goodman), is because Buscemi's character in Fargo (1996) would not shut up.
The screenplay was written with Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Sam Elliott in mind.
The Dude's line, "The Dude abides," is a reference to Ecclesiastes 1:4, "One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides forever." It is a reference to how the Dude, much like the Earth, can weather change and chaos around him, but still remain the same.
The Dude has a habit of repeating phrases he hears from other characters. The George Bush speech "This aggression will not stand" is repeated by the Dude. Maude Lebowski uses the phrase "Parlance of our times" Dude repeats this one in the limo. The Big Lebowski says he "Will not abide another toe!" at the end of the movie "The Dude abides"
As The Dude writes the 69 cent check at Ralph's, he watches George H.W. Bush give the "This aggression will not stand" press interview live on TV. President Bush gave the interview on the White House lawn on Sunday, August 5, 1990, 3 days after the Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait. The Dude's check, however, is dated September 11, 1991, indicating that The Dude is so broke, that he had to post-date a 69 cent check by over one year.
The Dude tells Maude he was a roadie for Metallica on their (fictional) "Speed of Sound" tour and refers to the band members as a "bunch of assholes." Metallica themselves were flattered to be referred to in a Coen Brothers movie, with guitarist Kirk Hammett once noting in an interview that they'd tried to think of a way to incorporate that scene into their live shows.
People mention peeing on the dude's rug 17 times. They also mention that the rug "really tied the room together" 5 times.
When we're introduced to the Dude's (bowling) arch-nemesis Jesus, a flamenco version of The Eagles song "Hotel California" plays (and is portrayed as playing on the bowling alley's PA system). Later, we learn in the taxicab scene that the Dude "...hate(s) the fuckin' Eagles, man."
T Bone Burnett acted as music consultant for the movie, and helped Joel Coen and Ethan Coen establish the Dude's taste in music. Burnett selected many of the existing songs in the movie, and also suggested the Dude's hatred towards The Eagles (Burnett himself is not a fan either). One of the band's member, Glenn Frey, was reportedly so dismayed about this that he once even angrily confronted Jeff Bridges when they met at a party.
The diner where Walter and the Dude have a cup of coffee during the toe scene is the same diner from the later scenes of American History X (1998). It is located at Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles. It's called Johnie's Coffee Shop and is only open for filming.
The lawyers that The Dude mentions, are William Kunstler and Ronald Kuby, are radical attorneys noted for defending numerous controversial defendants, including suspected terrorist leaders and the daughter of Malcolm X.
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.
DaFino refers to himself as a "brother shamus," a term which confuses the Dude. This was a popular term for a private investigator during the inter-regnum years, when Raymond Chandler wrote the stories on which this film is loosely based.
According to a local newspaper in Akron, Ohio, the "Medina Sod" bowling shirt the Dude wears in the movie is a real 1960s bowling shirt found in a thrift store in LA. It belonged to a man named Art Myers who was the foreman at Medina Sod in Medina, Ohio.
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.
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.
While urinating on the Dude's rug, the Threehorn thug says "Ever thus to deadbeats, Lebowski!" This is a play on the Latin phrase "Sic semper tyrannis!" (Thus always to tyrants!), which was allegedly spoken by the murderers of Gaio Giulio Cesare and Abraham Lincoln during the assassinations.
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 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 Dude drinks nine White Russians during the course of the movie. (He drops one of them at Jackie Treehorn's mansion.)
The fast-food restaurant In & Out Burger is referred to during the movie, for which John Goodman once did a commercial.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
The photo that the Private Eye shows the Dude of Bunny Lebowski's farm is the same one shown in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood". Oddly enough,the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played Brandt, also went on to famously portray the eponymous author in 2005's Capote (2005), and 'Mark Pellegrino' who plays Blond Treehorn Thug, plays Dick Hickock (one of the murderers of that farm's inhabitants) in Capote (2005).
Charlize Theron was considered for the role of Bunny Lebowski.
The Dude meets a lot of new people throughout the story, outside his "tribe". But only three, Brandt, Jackie Treehorn and The Cowboy show enough "respect" for him to call him "Dude".
Jeff Bridges, in his second career as a musician, sometimes tours with a backing band called "The Abiders" - a reference to the repeated line "the Dude abides" from this movie.
To develop the lazy, out of shape character of the Dude, Jeff Bridges let himself go physically.
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As the first President Bush remarks "This aggression will not stand" at the beginning of the movie, the Dude makes out a check dated 9-11-1991, exactly ten years before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. As the film was made in 1998, this is obviously just a grim coincidence.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Everything Walter says to do with Bunny's kidnapping comes true: the fake kidnapping, the fake severed toe and the lack of ransom money.
These are also spoilers for Miller's Crossing (1990) and Fargo (1996):] After Steve Buscemi's character has died and is being remembered, all that remains of him are his ashes which blow all over The Dude when Walter scatters them at the ocean. This is part of a three-movie running gag where the visible remains of Buschemi's characters get smaller and smaller. In "Miller's Crossing", Buscemi is last seen as a whole dead body on the ground, and in "Fargo" all that remains of him is a severed leg being fed into a wood chipper by his killer (played by Peter Stormare who also portrays one of the Nihilists here.)

In the bathtub scene, The Dude refers to the Nihilists' ferret as a "marmot" and an "amphibious rodent" yet it is neither of these things. The script originally called for a marmot, but when it was realized how big these animals are, a ferret was used instead. The dialogue was left unchanged because the Dude wouldn't know any better.
When Dude is attacked in his bathroom, there are two toilet bowl brush holders to the left of the toilet. During the course of the fight, the position of the blue holder changes - it goes from standing to lying on its side and then back to standing.
Smart Balance is on the grocery store shelf at Ralph's in the opening scene of the movie. This product didn't come onto the market until 1995, though the film is set four years earlier.
When Walter, The Dude and Donny are sitting at the bar in the bowling alley, discussing the kidnappers, Donny's can of Slice and a can of Pepsi are both newer, post-1991 designs.
The first sex offender laws, like those which would require Jesus Quintana to notify his neighbors of his paedophilic record, weren't implemented in California until 1996.
Post-1991 cars can be seen in the background where Walter and The Dude are sitting and having their coffee in the diner. Another, a black Nissan Maxima, drives past as The Dude is thrown from a taxicab in a later scene.
The calendar on Francis Donnelly's desk at the mortuary says February 1997, though the movie is supposed to be six years prior to that.
In the opening sequence, Jesus' bowling partner is bowling with teal Rhino Pro bowling ball which was not available until 1993.
Jesus Quintana's wrist brace wasn't made till 1996.
During the opening scene, in which the camera moves back to show several bowlers release at the foul line, one bowler rolls a translucent bowling ball. The ball, an Ebonite Clear Wolf, was not released until the mid 1990s.
Quite a few of the various bowling balls and shoes, both used and background props, were not commercially available until well after 1991.
Jesus is shown having to notify his neighbors that he is a sex offender. While California has had a sex offenders registry since 1947, it did not have a "Megan's Law," allowing community notification, until 1996, well after this movie is set. Furthermore, it is law enforcement, not the offender, who notifies that community.
The car Ulli drives in the adult movie "Logjammin'" is a BMW E36 convertible. Production of this car did not start before 1993.
Audio/visual unsynchronised When Walter is smashing the red car with the crowbar, the other man runs out shouting at him, but his lips don't actually move.
When The Dude is talking to Da Fino in his car through the open driver's side window, we hear music playing on the car stereo. When Da Fino gets out of the car and the door is shut behind him, the volume of the music drops as if the window were shut.
When the Dude is told about the kidnapping, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem is playing in the background on Big Lebowski's HiFi. However, the timeline of the music does not correspond to the actual conversation.
When the Dude calls Walter on Shabbas to pick him up after helping Maude conceive, his mouth eventually stops matching his words.
Character error Before the Dude's car is stolen from outside the bowling alley Walter makes reference to having a million dollars "in the trunk". Later, when the car is recovered by the LAPD, the Dude looks frantically into the back seat and declares that his briefcase is missing. He never opens the trunk.
In the bathtub scene, The Dude refers to the Nihilists' ferret as a "marmot" and an "amphibious rodent" yet it is neither of these things. The script originally called for a marmot, but when it was realized how big these animals are, a ferret was used instead. The dialogue was left unchanged because the Dude wouldn't know any better.
The nihilist girl's German pronunciation is far from authentic when she orders her pancakes.
When the nihilists are ordering pancakes in the restaurant, the female nihilist orders "Heidelbeer Pfannkuchen" (blueberry pancakes) which one of the other nihilists incorrectly translates to the waitress as "lingonberry pancakes." (This may be because the nihilists don't care enough to get her order right.)
In the toilet-dunking scene, The Dude says "W-w-wife? D-do you see a ring on my finger?" He holds out his right hand, when he would have made the point better with his left hand.
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.
When Walter and Dude are watching Dude's landlord do his dance they are talking about the old western Branded. Walter asks Dude if he remembers it and he says yeah, the Mike Connors show. It was Chuck Connors who starred in it. In addition, Walter mentions "all 156 episodes," but 'Branded' only survived two seasons and ran for only 48 episodes.
After Walter bails out of the car, he limps favoring his left leg. That night after bowling, when walking away from the lanes, he favors his other leg. Continuity When The Dude is at Jackie Treehorn's and he rubs the pad of paper with a pencil revealing Treehorn's drawing of a naked man, The Dude tears the page off the pad and quickly crumples and shoves the paper into his pocket. Later while in the Chief of Police of Malibu's office and the Chief is going through The Dude's wallet, the same paper he tore off of Treehorn's pad is neatly folded in the wallet, with no sign of previous crumpling.
The amount of White Russian in the Dude's glass varies between shots, as does the amount dripping off his mustache and his position on the seat.
While the Dude, Walter, and Donnie talk about the carpet pissers at the Bowling Alley, the bowlers in the next lane (they can be seen behind Walter) change in incongruous ways. Watch for the big black guy and the big white guy with the pony tail. Also watch the movement of the waitress, which is incongruous. She covers 20 meters within the time it takes the Dude to say "Fuckin'-A".
In the opening scene with the various bowlers, the big African-American bowler throws an orange ball, but the ball that is shown smashing one pin against the other is blue. This is repeated with the next bowler, who throws a wine red ball but the ball that arrives is red-blue.
When the Dude gets his car back after being stolen the driver's door cannot be opened, however after he sees the blue Volkswagen and crashes again, the door works again.
After Walter pulls out his hand gun at Smokie; Dude and Walter are walking to Dude's car with the dog. The dog disappears from the scene when they get into the car.
The mat in front of the toilet disappears and reappears between shots.
At the Malibu police office the officer looks at his value club card and throws it down to the side of the white paper. In the next shot when the officer looks at the note from Treehorn's house, the value club card is lying oblique on the right of the officer's hand. In the next shot the card is lying again on top of the white paper, and partially covered by the wallet. The other objects (wallet, notes that were in the wallet, cup of coffee) also change position in different shots.
The first time The Dude's answering machine message is heard it says "leave a message after the beep, it takes a minute." Then there is a long pause before it beeps and Maude Lebowski leaves a message. When The Dude is smoking in his bathtub, LAPD calls and the same message is heard, but there is no delay before the beep.
The Dude tries to flick a lit roach out the car window, it lands in his lap, causing him to lose control driving and hit a dumpster. Shaken up, he looks over the top of his sunglasses out the driver's window to see if the blue VW is still following him. He doesn't see it. Immediately after, he turns his head to look out the passenger window. When he turns to look, he's not wearing the sunglasses.
When The Dude is in the bathtub smoking a joint with all of the candles lit, the Nihilists come in and throw the ferret in the tub with him. There are four candles in the corner to the left of The Dude. When The Dude starts thrashing around he puts three of the four candles out with the water and when it cuts away then goes back to him, the three candles that were out are lit and the one candle that was still lit is out.
When the Dude is at the Malibu police office, the position of the cup of coffee of the officer changes during different shots. When the Dude falls on his desk, he puts his cup of coffee on the white paper on his desk. In the next shot the cup is on the edge of the white paper. Next shot it moves a little bit towards the officer. And then on the next shot it is again on the edge of the white paper.
When the Dude looks at Da Fino's picture of Bunny's family farm, he holds it two hands in the close-up, and one hand in the long shot.
In Lebowski's limo, Lebowski and Brandt confront the Dude about his failure to deliver the ransom money. When Brandt hands over the envelope with the toe, the Dude is seen reaching for it with his right hand. When the angle changes, the hand taking the envelope is a left hand. What's more, it has a wedding band on the ring finger. (After the "toilet" attack, the Dude shows his ringless ring finger as evidence that he is not married.)
When Dude is attacked in his bathroom, there are two toilet bowl brush holders to the left of the toilet. During the course of the fight, the position of the blue holder changes - it goes from standing to lying on its side and then back to standing.
When Walter jumps out of the car at the drop-off point, he loses control of the Uzi and it shoots out the Dude's left tail light. But when the Dude recovers the car from the police, the same tail light is perfectly normal.
When the blond thug in the opening scene drops the bowling ball, the tile on the floor is different than when he picks the ball off the floor.
While driving down the road, The Dude notices that he is being followed by the blue Volkswagen. The camera shot of the Dude shows a thick layer of dirt on the rear windshield of his car. When the camera cuts to shots of the rear-view mirror to see the Volkswagen, there is no dirt at all on the rear windshield.
After Walter jumps out of The Dude's car, The Dude scrambles across to the driver's side, and the door is already closed.
In the opening scene, a bowler attempts to convert a 7-10 split. A close-up shows the split being picked up with a different-colored bowling ball.
When Walter jumps from the moving car, we see that his Uzi shoots out the back left tire of the Dude's car. In the subsequent scene when the car slams into the light pole, the tire is still inflated.
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.
When the Dude is reading the ransom note at The Big Lebowski's home, the joint he is smoking is in his hand. When the shot focuses on him, it's in his mouth. This occurs twice.
During the "Careful man, there's a beverage here!" scene, The Dude spills his White Russian all over the back seat. In subsequent shots, the glass is nearly full.
Crew or equipment visible:
When The Dude and Walter are making the money drop off, after Walter jumps out and The Dude crashes the car, when The Dude runs out saying "We have the money," police lights blocking off the road they are filming on are clearly visible.
When The Dude is driving, and first notices the blue Volkswagen following him, the hood-mounted camera equipment is reflected in his sunglasses.
After the introduction of "Jesus" there is a shot from left to right, ending with Walter Sobchak. You can see a reflection of the cameraman in his left eyeglass.

In the dream sequence when Lebowski glides down the aisle through the dancer's legs you can see the mount holding him in horizontal position under his shirt.
Factual errors:
When the Dude, Walter and Donny are eating the burgers they supposedly got at In-n-Out, the cups they drink from are not white with a ring of red palm trees, which is the way the cups are at that chain.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs:
Walter draws the firearm and the Dude says, "Man, they're calling the cops." The cops show up as they are leaving. A call from Smokey and Dude and Walter's tournament advancement imply that they stayed long enough to win the round. This is presumably a sly comment on the lethargic response time of LAPD to what they consider a non-urgent call.
When the Dude is on the phone with the kidnappers, a dial tone is heard each time they hang up. However, he's not on a cellphone as some may think, rather he is on a portable car-phone. Unlike a cellphone, the car-phone would indeed have a dial tone.
Revealing mistakes:
When the Dude is thrown in the back of the Limo while holding his White Russian, plastic wrap can be seen covering the top of the glass, preventing a complete spill of the drink.
At the end of the Gutterballs sequence, when the bowling pins are knocked over, wires can be seen that were used to move the pins.
During the turn that Walter almost doesn't make, the lights that are shining through the back of the car remain stationary, and hence do not simulate a turning car.
The ball that the Jesus rolls down the lane is on lane 23, yet the lane number is reversed, as is lane number 24, indicating a flipped shot.
In the opening credits, a big black guy throws a seven-ten split (his ball changing color from the throw to the strike, as noted in "goofs"). The first frame showing the ball striking the leftmost pin reveals that the pin isn't on the dot marking its official position. It's a little ahead of and to the left of the dot, hanging over the gutter, and the ball strikes it from the gutter: the shot is rigged.
Through out the film Walter is shown with a pack of Marlboro red cigarettes but when ever he is smoking the filter is that of a light cigarette (white filter compared to a tan filter).
At the end of the movie, when the Dude and Walter discover Bunny's crashed car; the car's brake lights are illuminated (it's not due to her headlights because her third brake light is on), despite the car being empty (so there is no one to hold the brake pedal down).
When The Dude mixes a White Russian during the second visit with Maude, he adds powdered milk to the glass, then picks up an entirely different pre-mixed White Russian.
After Maude Lebowski swings in and splatters paint on her piece of art, paint can be seem on the floor in front of the piece, presumably from previous splatters. However, none of the lights pointed at the piece have any paint on them, which seems highly unlikely.
The handwriting on Larry Sellers' homework is the same as the teacher that has marked it.
The goof items below may give away important plot points. Continuity:
When the Dude and Walter are scattering Donny's ashes, the time of day changes and the waves change direction.
Crew or equipment visible:
When the Germans are having dinner, before we see that the girl has a maimed foot, you can clearly see the camera and the camera assistant reflected in the glass.
Errors in geography:
As the Dude is making his way back from Jackie Treehorn's pad in Malibu to his own apartment in Venice, he is thrown out of the cab and passed by Bunny in her red convertible. However, if Bunny indeed had been in Palm Springs as Brandt later says, there's no way she would have passed along that route on her way home to Pasadena.
Revealing mistakes
When Walter tosses The Big Lebowski on the floor, the man, who is supposed to be a paraplegic, moves his leg.
When Walter and the Dude are on the cliff to spread the ashes and Walter is giving his speech, you can see dust on their heads from a previous take.

[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 ...

Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles - Written by Don Van Vliet (as Don Vliet) - Performed by Don Van Vliet (as Captain Beefheart) - Published by EMI Unart Catalog Inc. (BMI) - Courtesy of Reprise Records - By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good - Written by Duke Ellington and Paul Francis Webster - Performed by Nina Simone - Published by Webster Music Co. / EMI Robbins Catalog, Inc. (ASCAP)- Courtesy of Rhino Records - By Arrangement with Warner Special Products - Nina Simone appears by special arrangement with Nina Simone and Steven Ames Brown
The Man In Me -Written and Performed by Bob Dylan -Published by Big Sky Music (SESAC) -Courtesy of Columbia Records -By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Dead Flowers -Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards -Published by ABKCO Music, Inc. -Performed by Townes van Zandt -Courtesy of Sugar Hill Records
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
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)
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) -Written by Mickey Newbury -Performed by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition -Published by Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. (BMI) -Courtesy of MCA Records -Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
My Mood Swings -Written by Elvis Costello and Cait O'Riordan -Performed by Elvis Costello -Published by Sideways Music, -Administered by Plangent Visions Music (ASCAP)
Oye Como Va -Written by Tito Puente -Performed by Santana -Published by Full Keel Music Co. (ASCAP) -Courtesy of Columbia Records -By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Peaceful Easy Feeling -Written by Jack Tempchin -Performed by Eagles -Published by Jazz Bird Music / WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) -Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment group -By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Pictures at an Exhibition -Written by Modest Mussorgsky -Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) -Conducted by Colin Davis (as Sir Colin Davis) -Used by permission of Bodsey & Hawkes, Inc. (ASCAP) -Courtesy of Philips Classics -By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
Requiem in D Minor -Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart) -Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra (as The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra) and Choir -Published by Cezame Argile (ASCAP) -Courtesy of Audio Action
Tammy -Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston -Performed by Debbie Reynolds -Published by St. Angelo Music, -Administered by MCA Music Publishing, A division of Universal Studios, Inc. (ASCAP) / Jay Livingston Music, -Inc. (ASCAP) -Courtesy of MCA Records -Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
Tumbling Tumbleweeds -Written by Bob Nolan -Performed by Sons of the Pioneers -Published by Williamson Music Company / Music of the West c/o The Songwriters Guild of America (ASCAP) -Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment v Viva Las Vegas -Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman -Performed by Shawn Colvin -Published by Pomus Songs, Inc. / Mort Shuman Songs -Administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. / Elvis Presley Music (BMI) -Courtesy of Columbia Records -By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: To whom was the line "Life does not stop and start at your convenience..." directed?
Q: Is "The Big Lebowski" based on a book?
Q: What's that song that is heard throughout the movie?

Message Boards:
Recent Posts:
Another Big Lebowski? - AA-Wild
R Rated Movie- Appropriate for Teens? - HannahToucan248
Tried it again and I still don't like it. - jay_brown71
The 'Donny's not real' Theory - brooksshows
milius sobchak - dingduder
Recommend Other Movies Like this. - KyaBakwaasHai

Discuss The Big Lebowski (1998) on the IMDb message boards

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 ... Smokey
Jack Kehler            ... Marty
John Turturro      ... Jesus Quintana

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