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The Big Lebowski(1998)

With plot elements that include mistaken identity, long and short cons, a wheelchair bound millionaire, kidnapping and a pornographer, this Coen Brothers film seems to be set in a demented version of Raymond Chandler’s mean streets of Los Angeles. In fact, the inspiration for Joel and Ethan Coen’s script was Robert Altman’s contemporary take on Chandler’s The Long Goodbye (1973). Jeff Bridges stars as the definitive slacker, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. When he’s beaten up by hoodlums, who mistake him for another Jeff Lebowski (David Huddleston), he and friends (John Goodman and Steve Buscemi) set out for some kind of retribution, leading to a series of crosses and double crosses that almost defy unraveling. Though it made a small profit on its initial release 20 years ago, the film was originally viewed as a disappointment, with many critics comparing it unfavorably to the Coens’ previous film, Fargo (1996). Over time, however, it developed a devoted following, with some critics revising their initial evaluations and midnight screenings often selling out. In addition to its cult of fans, the film has inspired annual Lebowski Fests around the globe, various sociological studies, the names of two species of spiders, a long-extinct tree and a religion (Dudeism). The Dude abides, indeed.(Digital)

In attendance: JEFF BRIDGES
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