Set in 1991 this Coen Brothers comedy crime caper begins with a simple case of mistaken identity and a peed on rug. The principle character Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a laid-back, unemployed, bowling loving, slacker, seeks recompense for his rug from the “Big” Lebowski, his wealthy namesake. The Dude acquires his rug but also stumbles into a hilarious web of extortion, kidnapping, deception and sex.
His bowling buddies, the slightly unhinged Vietnam vet Walter and the mild-mannered Donnie, become embroiled in the constantly thickening plot. When the Dude is called upon to deliver a million dollar ransom for the return of the Big Lebowskis kidnapped wife things begin to go wrong. As the story proceeds, the Dude gets caught up in the schemes of Lebowski’s daughter, encounters an evil porn mogul, a bad cop, an Eagles loving cab driver and a group of European Nihilists.
The film is wonderfully crafted and acted. Jeff Bridges appears to have been born for this role and turns in a stellar comedic performance.
Initially largely under-appreciated by critics, which just proves that they generally know fuck all, but has become a “must watch” cult classic.
Reason to Watch
When a film has inspired the creation of a religion – The Church of the Latter-Day Dude – then not watching would be positively sacrilegious.
Released in 1998 but set in 1991, the era of the first Gulf War. Only the Dude can steal a quote from George Bush Senior and still remain cool – “this aggression will not stand, man”. Comedy gold.
Most Memorable Quotes
“Nobody calls me Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I’m the Dude, man.”
“No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“The Dude abides”
What You Need To Get Through This Movie
To truly immerse yourself in the movie White Russians (Vodka/Kahlua/Cream over ice) and some organic Glaucoma medication are a must.
Donnie’s bowling shirts say names like C.K., Roy and Austin, never Donnie.
- Shomer Shabbos is the Jewish day of rest.
- If you are laid-back and lazy enough things will work out. If not, what the hey pour yourself a White Russian and smoke a J.
- Nihilists believe in nothing.
- Always check wind direction prior to scattering ashes.
Justification for Rating
This is a very clever and funny, funny film. If you don’t agree then all I can say is “Come on, you’re being very un-Dude”.