It was not especially popular with critics or audiences when it was first released but has since become something of a cult with conventions of fans in costume, scholarly analysis, lines of dialogue recited with reverence by its fans, and a wide assortment of merchandise.
“Star Trek?” Nope, this time it’s The Big Lebowski from the Coen brothers. The film defies summary, which is sort of the point. There is a mix-up involving two people named Lebowski. One, a shlub played by Jeff Bridges, is mistaken for a millionaire who has riled up some powerful people. When they seek redress of their grievances with the wrong Lebowski, our anti-hero, who had previously spent most of his time smoking pot and bowling, tries to figure out what is going on, and his investigations lead him into some strange adventures with some even stranger characters.
The movie is now seen not just as a fine film but as remarkably wise and prescient. Should you wish to meet with other fans all dressed as characters from the movie, you can choose from conventions in your choice of cities. You can bring the movie home with a Dude Bobble Head, Action Figure (as I noted before, shouldn’t he be an “in-action” figure?), or Big Lebowski White Russian Black T-shirt .
And if you want to ponder the deeper meaning in it all, you can take a look at a new book from Indiana University Press collecting scholarly research on the movie. It is called The Year’s Work in Lebowski Studies and I got a big kick out of reading the table of contents: