DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Big Lebowski

THE BIG LEBOWSKI, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, 1998, (c) Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collectio

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Grab your bowling balls and a White Russian because here are a few facts about The Big Lebowski that really tie the room together.

1. The Dude is based on a real guy.

The Coen Brothers primarily based the Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) on a man named Jeff Dowd, who helped distribute their first film, Blood Simple, in 1984. Like the stoner character in the movie, Dowd was a member of the anti-war group the Seattle Seven and actually called himself “The Dude.”


2. Other bits of the movie were also inspired by real life.

Peter Exline, a screenwriting consultant and film professor at USC and good friend of the Coens, told the pair various stories from his own life that found their way into the movie. For example, he had a rug in his living room that “tied the room together” and he once found a child’s homework in his car after it had been stolen.


3. The Coen Brothers look out for their friends.

John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturro’s characters were written specifically for them. Including The Big Lebowski, both Buscemi and Goodman have appeared in six Coen Brothers movies, while Turturro has appeared in four.


4. Julianne Moore’s character is based on a real-life artist.

Maude was modeled after visual and performance artist Carolee Schneemann.


5. Early drafts revealed the Dude’s source of income.

He was supposed to be the heir to the Rubik’s Cube fortune.


6. The Dude has some biblical dialogue.

The famous line “the Dude abides” was taken from the bible verse Ecclesiastes 1:4, which reads, “One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the Earth abides forever.”


7. The Dude plays guitar… in real life.

Actor Jeff Bridges plays guitar in a band called The Abiders, which is named after a reference to the above mentioned “the Dude abides” line from the movie.


8. The movie inspired its own festival.

First held in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2002, the “Lebowski Fest” has since been held in over 30 cities multiple times each year. Festivities include screenings of the movie, costume and trivia contests, all-night bowling, copious amounts of White Russians, and appearances by the film’s actors, including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Julianne Moore, and Peter Stormare.

9. The costume department didn’t have to look far for the Dude’s wardrobe.

Bridges provided most of his own clothes (including the Jellie sandals).

Team Coco

Team Coco


10. Donny (Steve Buscemi) might be having an identity crisis.

All of his personalized bowling shirts show different—non-Donny—names.


11. The Dude spawned his own religion.

According to its official website, the core tenet of Dudeism is that “everything is just, like, your opinion, man.” You can also join the ranks of the over 220,000 Dudeist ministers ordained worldwide.


12. The Dude has his own store in New York City.

The Little Lebowski Shop is solely sells memorabilia from the movie.

Flavorwire

Flavorwire


13. The Coens had fun with Jesus’s (John Tuturro) musical cues.

A Spanish-language version of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” by the Gipsy Kings can be heard during the scene where Jesus is introduced. And, as we all know, the Dude hates the Eagles.


14. The bowling alley was real.

The bowling alley scenes were shot at the Hollywood Star Lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Little Lebowski Urban Achievers looking to bowl a few frames are out of luck: The building was demolished in 2003 to make way for a new elementary school. Weirdly enough, the Dude is never seen actually bowling in the entire movie.


15. The bowling shots were tricky to capture.

To get the POV shots of the bowling balls rolling down the lanes, the camera was mounted on a specialized RC car chassis that reached speeds of 20mph and followed actual balls that were bowled on set.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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