19 years ago today, The Coen Brothers unleashed The Dude into the world with The Big Lebowski. There are few people in my age group that have not seen, quoted, and celebrated the insane cult classic flick about an aging stoner being mistaken for a millionaire whose wife has been kidnapped. Let us dig into the little-known trivia of this masterpiece.
1. The Dude (Jeff Bridges) appears in every scene of the movie. At one point, he is in a van with Walter (John Goodman), visible through a window, when the Nihilists are ordering pancakes.
2. You can be ordained by The Big Lebowski-inspired The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, which bills itself as “…the slowest-growing religion in the world…”. You can visit the website, read The Take it Easy Manifesto, learn about Great Dudes in History, or whatever, man.
3. Other super fans gather in costume to watch weekly, monthly, or annual screenings of the movie. The Coen Brothers once stumbled upon a theater advertising the flick in 2013. One of the workers invited the duo to stop by, not knowing they were the writers and directors. I do not know if this theater was one of the Lewbowski Fest participants or just cool, man.
4. The word ‘fuck’ and its myriad variations are used 292 times. I would love to know how many of those can be attributed to “Shut the fuck up, Donny!”.
5. The word ‘dude’ is used 160 times in this movie and appears in text during the bowling dream/musical sequence.
6. The Dude was based on an independent filmmaker named Jeff “The Dude” Dowd. Dowd helped the brothers get distribution for their debut movie Blood Simple. Dowd was a member of the Seattle Seven, which were members of the Seattle Liberation Front that staged a protest in 1970 that resulted in their arrest for conspiracy to incite a riot”.
7. Another friend of the Coen Brothers is Peter Exline. He once had his car stolen and found homework in it when he got it back. Like Walter, he also confronted the kid. There is no word on whether he yelled “This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, Larry?” or “Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps, Larry?”.
8. Jesus (John Turturro) has a large bulge in his tight pants. That’s because there’s a sack of birdseed in there.
9. Jeff Bridges supplied most of his own wardrobe and let himself get out of shape to play The Dude. He would also ask the Coen Brothers before a scene if the Dude had smoked some weed right before the action. If they said yes, he would rub his eyes red to get the stoner look going.
10. The Dude is never seen bowling. Whenever Walter, Donny, and The Dude are in the bowling alley, they are at lane 23. Donny bowls a strike every time he rolls, except for his last turn before dying.
11. Of the six Coen Brothers films John Goodman has acted in, he has stated that this one is his favorite. Other actors that list this movie as one of their top five include Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, and Nick Offerman.