The Big Lebowski
Get ready to enter a world of pain.
While you’re sitting on your sofa wondering if your rug “really does tie the room together”, now could be the perfect time for a Lockdown Rewatch of The Big Lebowski, the Coen brother’s 1998 comedic masterpiece. It’s strange to think now how badly it did at the box office (only $46 million worldwide) and that it received a number of lukewarm reviews (the LA Times said it was “disjoined, incoherent and irritating”). But what do 1998 people know eh? Pour yourself a White Russian, polish up your bowling ball and enjoy a dark comedy masterclass from Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi…
But did you know…
1) The Coen brothers had one “impossible dream” when developing the film. They wanted Marlon Brando to play the role of the eponymous Big Lebowski and tended to read lines from the script in his accent. Other actors that they considered for the role were Robert Duvall, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson, but none of them were actually interested when approached. Ultimately the role went to, the perhaps lesser known, David Huddleston.
2) The film has A LOT of swearing, and the word “f*ck” alone is said a whopping 260 times. A censored (but no less family friendly) version that aired on US cable TV had Walter’s line “This is what happens when you f*ck a stranger in the ass” replaced with “Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps?”
3) Like any cult classic it’s developed an enormous fan following and even has its own religion. Dudeism, or The Church of the Latter Day Dude, is a religion, philosophy and lifestyle inspired by the White Russian-drinking character and is inherently a modern version of Chinese Taoism, or “going with the flow”. Dudeism currently includes around 450,000 ordained priests, which are even able to perform weddings… look it up.