The Big Lebowski opened on March 6th, 1998 to little critical fanfare and even worse financial returns, accumulating a mere $5,533,844 over those three days and coming in sixth place at the end of it — situated behind Titanic, U.S. Marshals, The Wedding Singer, Twilight, and Hush. For a few years thereafter, it had become an oddity in the Coen filmography: without question a follow-up to Fargo that suffered for being nothing like Fargo, and, at best, a warm-up to the more “centered” idiosyncrasies of O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Fifteen years later to this day, The Big Lebowski is among the most-loved and most-quoted work of Joel and Ethan Coen‘s career, and stands as more indelible than anything that stood victorious over it that late-winter. (Cameron’s epic being a possible exception, though an argument could easily be made otherwise.) The picture was only rediscovered about ten or so years ago, but, in that time, it’s been discussed so widely and, honest-to-God, studied so deeply that there’s little new left to say — almost like a modern Citizen Kane? — which doesn’t extend past the personal.
So, if you’d like, share some of your thoughts and experiences with The Big Lebowski in the comments below — after you do one thing. Posted below is an appearance Jeff Bridges made on Inside the Actors Studio in 2003, right around the time people were giving his most famous starring role, Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a second look. Thank God we gave this one another chance, and thank God we didn’t forget about the fucking toe.
Watch the full discussion below:
What are your favorite memories of The Big Lebowski?
Latest posts from The Film Stage