It's been almost two decades since the release of Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski, yet thanks to its absurd storyline and fantastic cast, its endlessly and hilariously quotable script, its countless motifs and somewhat paradoxically upbeat soundtrack, it took no time at all for this madcap movie to gather a dedicated fanbase.
Yet even the most dedicated of Dudes may not be aware of all of the 10 lesser known Lebowski facts listed below:
1. The Big Lebowski Festival is actually a thing
It's called Lebowski Fest and it began in Louisville, Kentucky in 2002. There's a film screening, live music, a bowling party and even Jeff Bridges showed up once to sing Bob Dylan's "The Man in Me," which is featured on the film's soundtrack!
2. As is the Church of Latter-Day Dudes
Yup, all worship at the home of Dudeism, otherwise known as the slowest-growing religion in the world. In 2014, reports recognized over 250,000 ordained Dudest Priests who all abide by the philosophy:
"...that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap."
3. The Dude is in every scene
Even the scene where the Nihilists are getting pancakes you can spy him sitting in the van. This style is in keeping with traditional film noir, with the protagonist narrating and guiding the audience through the movie.
4. The movie got the thumbs up from Norway's Bowling Association
Promotional posters and videos for the film in Norway included the text "Anbefales av norsk bowling forbund" which translates as "recommended by the Norwegian Bowling Association."
5. Jeff Bridges would rub his knuckles in his eyes to make himself look stoned
Apparently before each scene he'd ask the Coen Brothers, "Did the Dude burn one on the way over?" before giving his peepers a good rub to make them bloodshot.
6. 'The Dude Abides' is a reference to the Bible
Actually, there are two biblical references in the film:
- "The Dude Abides" refers to Ecclesiastes 1:4, "One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides forever." Meaning that the Dude, just like Earth, can alter weather and chaos around him while remaining the same.
- When the Dude and Walter are bowling, Walter says, "Eitz chaim hi, Dude, as the ex used to say," which is a reference to the first half of a phrase in the Old Testament (the second being "lamachazikim ba"), meaning, "It is a tree of life to those who take hold of it."
7. The Dude is never shown bowling
Despite being a member of a bowling team.
8. Donny is constantly being told to 'Shut the fuck up' —because his Fargo character was always running off with his mouth.
It's all connected, man.
9. John Turturro's character Jesus has a bag of birdseed down his pants
10. Every item of clothing the Dude wears comes from Jeff Bridges's closet
Even the jelly sandals!
Did you know all of these Big Lebowski facts?