15 Things You Never Knew About 'The Big Lebowski'
It's been 20 years since moviegoers were first introduced to The Dude, an affable hippie just trying to make his way through life and bowl a few rounds -- in between buying coffee creamer using a check.
"The Big Lebowski" was not a smash hit when it first debuted, but it's built up a considerable cult following in the years since -- deservedly so. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, here are 15 things you might not know about this Coen Bros. classic.
1. While fictional, the movie draws inspiration from several real-life figures. The Dude himself is loosely based on a man named Jeff Dowd, who helped distribute the Coens' first film, "Blood Simple."
2. Meanwhile, Julianne Moore's character, Maude, is based on artist Carolee Schneemann and singer Yoko Ono. John Goodman's Walter is based on screenwriter John Milius.3. The Coens' friend, Peter Exline, a screenwriter and film professor, also directly inspired the development of "The Big Lebowski." It was Exline who actually coined the phrase: "It really ties the room together" and whose personal anecdotes inspired several key moments in the film.
4. If you've ever wondered how The Dude manages to financially support himself while clearly in a perpetual state of "funemployment," an early draft of the screenplay revealed he's the heir to the Rubik's Cube fortune.5. The majority of The Dude's outfits were supplied by Jeff Bridges himself. He even reused a shirt he previously wore in 1991's "The Fisher King."
6. In order to film the bowling shots from just the right angle, the Coens mounted a camera atop an RC car frame and used that to follow the bowling balls down the alley.
7. The Dude drives a 1973 Ford Torino. Two versions of the car were used for filming. One of them was destroyed, but the other later resurfaced in an episode of "The X-Files."
8. Every single song played during the course of the film is actually heard by the characters themselves, either on the radio or on the supermarket loudspeakers.
9. Bridges clearly has musical talent, as shown by his starring role in 2009's "Crazy Heart." However, Bridges also moonlights as a musician on the side and plays in a Lebowski-inspired band called The Abiders.10.Steve Buscemi's poor, put-upon hero Donnie (RIP) apparently has trouble remembering his own name, or at least has really ticked off his tailor. The character's customized bowling bowling shirts always display the wrong name throughout the film.
11. Donnie is also notable for bowling a strike every single time -- until his very last turn, which comes moments before his tragic death.
12. Walter's gun shop, Sobchak Security, advertises that it sells "peace of mind." This is a callback to John Goodman's character in "Barton Fink," who made a similar claim.13.Peter Stormare's character, Uli, was partly conceived on the set of "Fargo." There, Stormare's character showed a similar obsession with pancakes, and Stormare would often lapse into an exaggerated German accent in between takes.
14. The Dude is so lazy, that he's never actually seen bowling once in the entire film, even during that iconic dream sequence. However, he does drink exactly nine White Russians during that time.15. Characters say the F-word exactly 292 times throughout the movie, which puts it just above 1983's "Scarface" and below 1990's "Goodfellas."