The Big Lebowski was made in 1998. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script, Joel Coen directed, Roger Deakins photographed it, and the music was by Carter Burwell. After Fargo, which was well-plotted and moved methodically and swiftly to a conclusion, this movie appeared to some to be a self-indulgent mess. Joel Coen said: "We wanted to do a Chandler kind of story – how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery, as well as having a hopelessly complex plot that's ultimately unimportant.” It cost $15 million, and made $46 million, but it was something of a disappointment at the box office, in that year of the biggest film ever, Titanic.
The film has, however, become something of a cult classic. Finlo Rohrer, in his 2008 article Is The Big Lebowski a cultural milestone?” in the BBC News Magazine, wrote “It became a popular choice for midnight screenings. Fans liked to go along and quote dialogue. It was perhaps not surprising when four years after its release, it spawned Lebowski Fest, a chain of conventions. . .celebrating the film. . . At the annual events, fans dress up as the Dude himself, or as crazed Vietnam veteran Walter Sobchak. . .(or) purple-clad Jesus Quintana.” Rohrer quotes Will Russell, a co-founder of the Fests, “The first night we watch the movie, the second night we become the movie.” Someone has counted — the F word is used 281 times. All Coen Brothers films are quirky, to me, this one is a monument to quirkiness. Anyway, I hope you enjoy watching the Dude in The Big Lebowski tonight.