The Big Lebowski

After the tight plotting and quirky intensity of Fargo, this casually amusing follow-up from the prolifically inventive Coen (Ethan and Joel) brothers seems like a bit of a lark, and the result was a box-office disappointment. The good news is, The Big Lebowski is every bit a Coen movie, and its lazy plot is part of its laidback charm. After all, how many movies can claim as their hero a pot-bellied, pot-smoking loser named Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) who spends most of his time bowling and getting stoned? And where else could you find a hairnetted Latino bowler named Jesus (John Turturro) who sports dazzling purple footgear, or an erotic artist (Julianne Moore) whose creativity consists of covering her naked body in paint, flying through the air in a leather harness, and splatting herself against a giant canvas? Who else but the Coens would think of showing you a camera view from inside the holes of a bowling ball, or an elaborate Busby Berkely-styled musical dream sequence involving a Viking goddess and giant bowling pins? The plot--which finds Lebowski involved in a kidnapping scheme after he's mistaken for a rich guy with the same name--is almost beside the point. What counts here is a steady cascade of hilarious dialogue, great work from Coen regulars John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, and the kind of cinematic ingenuity that puts the Coens in a class all their own. Be sure to watch with snacks in hand, because The Big Lebowski might give you a giddy case of the munchies. --Jeff Shannon

Genre: Comedy, Crime
Year:
1998
14,910 Views

The Dude:
..Yeah, man, it really tied the room together.

Walter Sobchak:
This was a valued, uh …

The Dude:
Yeah.

Donny:
[Donny takes a seat] What tied the room together, Dude?

The Dude:
My rug.

Walter Sobchak:
Were you listening to The Dude's story, Donny?

Donny:
What?

The Dude:
Walter …

Walter Sobchak:
Were you listening to The Dude's story?

Donny:
I was bowling.

Walter Sobchak:
So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know -

The Dude:
Walter, Walter, what's the point, man?

Walter Sobchak:
There's no reason - Here's my point, Dude. There's no fucking reason why these two -

Donny:
Yeah, Walter, what's your point?

Walter Sobchak:
Huh?

The Dude:
Walter, what is the poin-? Look, we all know who is at fault here - what the fuck are you talking about?

Walter Sobchak:
Huh? No, what the fuck are you … ! I'm not … we're talking about unchecked aggression here, Dude.

Donny:
What the fuck is he talking about?

The Dude:
My rug.

Walter Sobchak:
Forget it, Donny, you're out of your element!

The Dude:
Look, Walter - Walter, the Chinaman who peed on my rug, I can't go give him a bill, so what the fuck are you talking about?

Walter Sobchak:
What the fuck are you talking about? The Chinaman is not the issue here, Dude! I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you do not... Also, Dude, "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature. "Asian-American," please.

The Dude:
Walter, this isn't a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy...

Walter Sobchak:
What the fuck are you...?

The Dude:
Walter, he peed on my rug!

Donny:
He peed on the Dude's rug.

Walter Sobchak:
Donny, you're out of your element! Dude, the Chinaman is not the issue here!

The Dude:
Then who...?

Walter Sobchak:
Jeff Lebowski, the other Jeffery Lebowski. The millionaire!

The Dude:
That's fucking interesting, man. That's fucking interesting.

Walter Sobchak:
Plus, he has the wealth, obviously, and the resources. So that there's no reason - there's no FUCKING reason - why his wife should go out and owe money all over town, and then they come, and they pee on your fucking rug! Am I wrong?

Walter Sobchak:
Fucking dog has fucking papers—OVER THE LINE!

Smokey:
Huh?

Walter Sobchak:
I'm sorry, Smokey. You were over the line, that's a foul.

Smokey:
Bullshit. Mark it 8, Dude.

Walter Sobchak:
Uh, excuse me. Mark it zero. Next frame.

Smokey:
Bullshit, Walter. Mark it 8, Dude.

Walter Sobchak:
Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.

The Dude:
Hey, Walter, c'mon, it's just - Hey man, it's Smokey. So his toe slipped over a little, you know, it's just a game, man.

Walter Sobchak:
This is a league game, this determines who enters the next round robin. Am I wrong?

Smokey:
Yeah, but I wasn't...

Walter Sobchak:
[turns to Smokey] Am I wrong?

Smokey:
Yeah, but I wasn't over. Gimme the marker Dude, I'm marking an 8.

Walter Sobchak:
Smokey, my friend, [pulls out an M1911A1 pistol] you're entering a world of pain.

The Dude:
Walter, man...

Walter Sobchak:
You mark that frame an 8, you're entering a world of pain.

Smokey:
I'm not...

Walter Sobchak:
A world of pain.

Smokey:
Look, Dude, I - This is your partner...

Walter Sobchak:
(shouting) Has the whole world gone CRAZY?! [stands up] AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE RULES?! MARK IT ZERO!

The Dude:
They're calling the cops, man. Put the piece away. [Walter's dog barks repeatedly]

Walter Sobchak:
MARK IT ZERO! [points gun in Smokey's face]

The Dude:
Walter, put the piece away …

Smokey:
Walter...?

Walter Sobchak:
(shouting) YOU THINK I'M FUCKING AROUND HERE?! [racks slide on pistol] MARK IT ZERO! [Walter's dog stops barking]

Smokey:
[shivers a second, then marks the card] All right, it's fucking zero. Are you happy, you crazy fuck?

Walter Sobchak:
[calmly lowers and unloads gun] It's a league game, Smokey.

The Dude:
She probably kidnapped herself.

Walter Sobchak:
Huh?

Donny:
What do you mean, Dude?

The Dude:
Rug Peers did not do this - Look at it! A young trophy wife, marries this guy for his money.. she figures he isn't given her enough, you know, she owes money all over town...

Walter Sobchak:
That fucking bitch.

The Dude:
It's all a goddamn fake, man! It's like Lenin said: You look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh, you know...

Donny:
"I am the walrus"?

The Dude:
You know what I'm trying to say?

Donny:
"I am the walrus".

Walter Sobchak:
That fucking bitch!

The Dude:
Oh yeah!

Donny:
"I am the walrus".

Walter Sobchak:
That's ex-- Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin! Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

Donny:
What the fuck is he talking about?

Walter Sobchak:
Fuckin' exactly what happened to those... That makes me fuckin' sick!

The Dude:
Well, what do you care, Walter?

Walter Sobchak:
Those rich fucks! This whole fuckin' thing! I did not watch my buddies die face-down in the muck so this fuckin' strumpet, this fuckin' whore could waltz around town-

The Dude:
Walter, Walter - I don't see any connection to Vietnam, man.

Walter Sobchak:
Well it isn't a literal connection, Dude..

The Dude:
Walter, face it - There isn't any connection. Your roll.

Walter Sobchak:
Have it your way, but my point -

The Dude:
Your roll.

Walter Sobchak:
My point is -

Jesus Quintana:
Are you ready to be fucked, man? [Dude, Walter and Donny turn as Jesus approaches] I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we're gonna fuck you up!

The Dude:
Yeah... well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Jesus Quintana:
Let me tell you something, pendejo. You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash a piece out on the lanes, I'll take it away from you and stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger 'til it goes "click".

The Dude:
Jesus.

Jesus Quintana:
You said it, man. Nobody fucks with The Jesus. [leaves]

Walter Sobchak:
… [turns to Dude] Eight year olds, Dude.

[Dude and Walter sit in a diner as Dude shows Walter the severed toe]

Walter Sobchak:
[laughs] That wasn't her toe, Dude.

The Dude:
Whose toe was it, Walter?

Walter Sobchak:
How the fuck should I know? I do know that nothing about it indicates...

The Dude:
The nail polish, Walter!

Walter Sobchak:
Fine, Dude. As if it's impossible to take some nail polish, apply it to someone else's toe...

The Dude:
Someone else's?

Walter Sobchak:
Pinking shears... [imitates snipping]

The Dude:
Where the fuck are they gonna...

Walter Sobchak:
You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Believe me. There are ways, Dude - you don't wanna know about it, believe me.

The Dude:
Yeah, but Walter...

Walter Sobchak:
Hell, I can get you a toe by 3:00 this afternoon, with nail polish. These fucking amateurs! (chuckles) They send us a toe, we're supposed to shit ourselves with fear. Jesus Christ!

The Dude:
Walter...

Walter Sobchak:
Now the point is...

The Dude:
They're gonna kill her, Walter, and then they're gonna kill me.

Walter Sobchak:
Dude... That's... That's just the stress talkin', man. Now so far, we have, what appears to me, to be a series of victimless crimes...

The Dude:
What about the toe?!

Walter Sobchak:
[slams fist on counter] FORGET ABOUT THE FUCKING TOE!

Waitress at diner:
[approaches Walter and Dude] Excuse me, sir. Could you please keep your voices down? This is a family restaurant.

Walter Sobchak:
Oh please, dear? For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!

The Dude:
Walter, this is not a First Amendment thing, man.

Waitress at diner:
Sir, if you don't calm down, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave.

Walter Sobchak:
Lady, I got buddies who died face-down in the muck so that you and I could enjoy this family restaurant!

The Dude:
Alright, I'm outta here [drops money and (inadvertently) a joint on counter, subtly picks up the joint]

Walter Sobchak:
[talking to Dude as he leaves] Oh come on, Dude... Don't walk away, man! C'mon, this affects all of us, man! Our basic freedoms! [to the waitress I'm stayin'. I'm finishing my coffee. [the waitress and the diner patrons look at him in disbelief] Enjoying my coffee.

The Dude:
Get out of that car! Get the fuck out of the car, man. Get out of the fu-- [Da Fino steps out of the car] Who the fuck are you?!

Da Fino:
Easy man, relax. No physical harm intended.

The Dude:
Who the fuck are you, man?

Da Fino:
Ok man, i'm..okay

The Dude:
Why are you following me around? Come on fuckhead!

Da Fino:
Hey, relax man. I'm a Brother Shamus.

The Dude:
Brother Shamus? Like an Irish monk?

Da Fino:
What the fuck are you talking about? My name's Da Fino. I'm a private snoop. Like you, man.

The Dude:
I'm not-- Just stay away from my special lady friend.

Da Fino:
Hey hey, i'm not messing with your special lady.

The Dude:
She's not my special lady. She's my fucking lady friend-- I'm just trying to help her conceive, man.

Da Fino:
Hey man, i'm not tryin to--

The Dude:
Who're you working for? Lebowski? Jackie Treehorn?

Da Fino:
The Knutsens.

The Dude:
The?-- Who the fuck are the Knutsens?

Da Fino:
The Knutsens. It's a wandering daughter job. Bunny Lebowski, man. Her real name is Fawn Knutsen, she ran away from home. Her parents want her back. [Shows Dude a picture of Fawn] See. Crazy, huh? Ran away about a year ago. The Knutsens told me I should show her this when I found her. It's the family farm. It's outside of Moorhead, Minnesota. They think it'll make her homesick.

The Dude:
Jesus fucking Christ. She's been kidnapped Da Fino.

Da Fino:
That's terrible.

The Dude:
Well maybe not, but she's definitely not around.

Da Fino:
Hey, uh, phfff, maybe you and me could pool our resources, trade information... a professional courtesy...compeers, you know what i mean.

The Dude:
Yeah yeah, I get it. Fuck off, Da Fino. And stay away from my special--from my fucking lady friend man.

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