The Big Lebowski (1998)

1998 The Big Lebowski Movie Film Cinema Poster ArtOne of the best Coen brothers’ films to date, and now widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time, The Big Lebowski is a one-of-a-kind classic.

Boasting the perfect cast, it stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and John Turturro in colourful and hugely entertaining roles.

The story is seemingly a sprawling mishmash of disparate ingredients ranging from bowling and pot smoking to serious crime and political statements; but in reality, all plot elements fit tightly together. Influenced by classic noir, The Big Lebowski is a tribute to Raymond Chandler’s notoriously convoluted novels. The Coen’s film is loosely based on Chandler’s The Big Sleep as well as Robert Altman’s 1973 film adaptation of The Long Goodbye.

An important element of The Big Lebowski is Joel and Ethan Coen’s homage to Busby Berkeley, the highly influential Hollywood musical choreographer who was prolific in the 1930s and 1940s. Berkeley’s elaborate musical production numbers involved complex geometric patterns, large numbers of showgirls and fantastical props in kaleidoscopic performances. The Coen brothers borrow specifically from Mervyn LeRoy’s Gold Diggers of 1933 which contains four song and dance sequences designed, staged and choreographed by Berkeley. The Coen’s use elements from each of these sequences in two hallucination scenes in their own film.

The Big Lebowski‘s story is really secondary to the bizarre characters which inhabit it and the first-rate actors who bring them to life. Apart from the pitch-perfect central performances from Bridges and Goodman, each supporting character vibrantly adds to this hilarious cinematic cocktail of ideas.

The Big Lebowski is an original. A must-see. And it only gets better with repeat viewings.

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You can find more information on this U.S. movie on Wikipedia and IMDb.

As always, we recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching this trailer:

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Title: The Big Lebowski

Language: English

Direction: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Screenplay: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Editing: Tricia Cooke, Roderick Jaynes

Score: Carter Burwell

Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, Tara Reid, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliott, Ben Gazzara, Peter Stormare, John Turturro, Jon Polito, David Thewlis, Mark Pellegrino, Philip Moon, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jack Kehler, Leon Russom, Asia Carrera

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Full Acting Cast and Roles

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About Shimky

Hi there! I run Wonderful Cinema. I hope you like the site and some of the recommendations. Please leave us a comment recommending a film for us to watch. My avatar is a crop of Luke Chueh's Black in White painting. All the best Shimky.

25 comments

  1. Totally Agree!! fabulous film, i need a copy even! Steve Buscemi and John Turturro are so fantastic as to rival the great Jeff B and John G…. brilliant film, and yes, it only gets better with viewing, the True Sign of a Great film!

  2. yeltnuh

    No matter how many times I watch the big guy, it works.

  3. Possibly the second best film that Bridges made, after the very underrated Fearless (1993), which is his tour de force.

  4. Huge fan of the Coen bros. They can do no wrong! My favourite is still Fargo (France McDormand…), but if their name is attached I know I’m going to like it. You know that moment when someone trips over on the pavement and you want to laugh but shouldn’t? That’s how their movies make me feel

  5. So many people love this film but not me. I don’t really like Coen Brothers work. I can see that it’s good work but it just doesn’t make me laugh or even vaguely amuse me. The Big Lebowski irritated me like mad.

  6. guitanaeima

    :)

  7. Spot on review. I own a copy of this film and have watched it possibly more times than the Dude downing white russians. All my favourite actors in one place. Can you believe that Donny has now morphed into Nucky….

  8. Hello there, great to find you here. The Big Lebowski was like a training manual for my early 20′s! I wanted to move to downtown LA and take up white russians. Great reviews and choice of movies, I’ve been wanting to watch more movies online and now I have a guide. Thanks for sharing.

  9. the dude abides :D

  10. This film gets better with age. A true cult classic!

  11. One of my all-time favorites…

  12. Thanks for the follow at my Sunkist2 Island Traveler. Like The Big Lebowski’s Sam Elliott role: though not “God” as narrator, I like to hang back and blend into the background to comment on the little pleasures and human interest on travels. Sometimes I feel like a seven-ten split can be made. ~Ron http://sunkist2.wordpress.com

  13. One of my alltime favourite films…. so funny and brilliant, like most of their films.

  14. Very cool film! I’m gonna watch ur blog a looot its very ccool.

  15. Oh I LOVED this one! You’re right, it gets better the more times you see it. I’ve seen it oly twice but I remember liking it even better the second time!

  16. cameraconnect admin

    This is our concern, dude.

  17. White Russians! The dude changed our drinking habits the year the film was released. I love a Coen Brothers masterpiece.

  18. Genshin's Intuition

    This is a true classic and is in the my top 5 films of all time.

  19. In Spain (El Gran Lebowski), he is “El Nota”, great movie!

  20. Great review, shimky. I love how you get to the point quickly and succinctly in all of the reviews I see here on Wonderful Cinema. Too many reviews sites just go on and on. Your brevity while still hitting the heart of the review, and not stating it in a million words, is refreshing!!!

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