Movies The 90s

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is a comedy movie directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and Julianne Moore. It was released in 1998 and received mixed reviews, though it is today well-regarded among fans of the Coen Brothers and has attained “cult movie” status.

Bridges stars as Jeffrey Lebowski, a stoner and slacker known to his friends as “The Dude” whose life mainly revolves around bowling. One night, a group of thugs breaks into his home and threatens him, warning him that his wife must pay back the money she owes. As The Dude is unmarried, he has no idea what is going on, but his friend Walter (Goodman) informs him that there is another Jeffrey Lebowski, a billionaire businessman. The Dude confronts the “big” Lebowski, who refuses to compensate him for damages to the Dude’s rug; a few days later, however, the Dude is hired to serve as a middleman when Lebowski’s wife is kidnapped. This leads both the Dude, Walter, and their bowling partner Donny (Buscemi) to become mixed up in an elaborate scheme that involves ferrets, severed digits, nihilists, and a truly improbable number of White Russians. And not everyone will make it out alive.

The Big Lebowski premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998, and was met with mixed reviews. Though it was heralded by some critics like Empire Magazine’s Ian Nathan, who said the film was “pure nirvana” for Coen followers, others found the plot episodic and overdone. Later, the Coens would address these critiques by revealing the movie had been partially inspired by the work of noir fiction legend Raymond Chandler. Joel Coen said in an interview that they had attempted to create an episodic plot that was purposefully “unimportant” by its end. Today, The Big Lebowski is revered by indie movie buffs, who praise its unique characters, dialogue, and soundtrack.

Jeff Bridges
John Goodman
Steve Buscemi
Julianne Moore
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Tara Reid
John Turturro



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