“The Big Lebowski” – 25th Anniversary of The Dude – “Taking it easy for all of us sinners.”

THE BIG LEBOWSKI, released in movie theaters March 6, 1998, was reviewed as “delightfully irregular…hilarious pop-culture hash…likably off-balance, comedy mystery.” Celebrate “The Dude’s 25th anniversary” with John as he “abides” (with bowling optional) on Crosscurrents, Monday, March 6 at 8:00 AM. Listen live at www.KRNN.org, 102.7fm, or 103.1fm.

The film “The Big Lebowski” is not everyone’s “cup of tea.” Indeed, there are folks to whom the movie is abomination. It is true that there is frequent profanity. However, there are other aspects to enjoy.

There is a right and wrong side to life. The Dude’s car is set aflame. He is insulted and assaulted. However, when his rug(which really tied the room together) is defiled, the Dude exclaims “this aggression will not stand, man.” It is a story justice over oppression.

There is honor and shame in the world. There are rules and chaos. The nihilists in the streets are contrasted with those who are national socialists though at least have an ethos.

When “The Big Lebowski” was released 25 years ago, it received somewhat mixed reviews and was a box-office disappointment. But the comedy, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, has risen in critics’ estimation over the years and has developed a cult following

March 6 is the anniversary of the 1998 film’s release. Fans celebrate it as “The Day of the Dude,” in honor of the easygoing philosophy of the movie’s protagonist, played by Jeff Bridges. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski is a single, unemployed slacker who likes weed, White Russians and bowling.

The film is about an attitude. Its plot line is secondary. The comedic story of avenging the damage to a rug by thugs who seek to extort cash from a millionaire is a farce. What is important is the Dude’s demeanor, as well as poise and presence.

Coming near the end of the indie cinema wave, Lebowski stood out among the decade’s quirky, quippy crime dramas with a detective tale that upended all the L.A. noir tropes. Its tangled mystery — loosely inspired by Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep — didn’t much matter. Its shaggy stoner hero, Bridges’ “The Dude,” was mainly focused on getting his rug back. When characters drew weapons, they were intentionally made to look ridiculous instead of Tarantino-cool.

A hugely impressive supporting cast signed on that included John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Sam Elliott, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Tara Reid and Philip Seymour Hoffman. While the film’s dialogue might sound like it was the product of at least some improvising, Bridges says the actors stuck extremely close to the Coens’ script.

The resulting film operated on a delightful vibe all its own and, ever so gradually, the film garnered more and more fans thanks to midnight screenings, cable and home video. More than one critic changed their mind about it, with Roger Ebert adjusting his review in 2010 from three to four (out of four) stars.

SOURCE:Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter