Why ‘The Big Lebowski’ Is the Best Movie Ever

Some movies are fun to watch once. Others you’ll watch a few times. The rare movie lives beyond the screen.

Not only do we watch it over and over. But we quote it. We let its language seep into our culture. And the whole experience takes on a life of its own.

“The Big Lebowski” has become such a movie. This is why we love the Dude as much today as when we first met them in 1998.

It’s the Coen Brothers

Filmmakers Joel Coen, left, and his brother Ethan Coen in 2004.
Filmmakers Joel Coen, left, and his brother Ethan Coen in 2004.Stefano Paltera/AP Photo

From “Raising Arizona” to “Fargo” and “O Brother Where Art Thou,” when Joel and Ethan Coen put their minds to a comedy, they create film genius that goes far beyond a couple of hours of entertainment.

While “The Big Lebowski” bombed at the box office, it has lived on as a cult classic. It was even selected to be enshrined in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

That’s right. It’s now a sacred piece of Americana.

The Cast Loved the Movie

The Dude and his friends like to hang out at the bowling alley.
The Dude and his friends like to hang out at the bowling alley.Gramercy Pictures/IMDB

All of the major stars who worked on “The Big Lebowski” loved the movie.

John Goodman told Rolling Stone in 2008 that it was the “favorite thing [he’s] ever worked on.” Steve Buscemi has indicated that he watches it whenever it comes on the TV. Tara Reid particularly loves the scene where the Dude gets his head stuffed into a toilet.

The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman told Rolling Stone, “The Dude abides, and I think that’s something people really yearn for, to be able to live their life like that. You can see why young people would enjoy that.”

Have You Ever Heard of a Little Show Called ‘Branded,’ Dude?

The Awesome Voice of Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott plays the Stranger.
Sam Elliott plays the Stranger.glancingonhuman/Twitter

The first voice you hear in “The Big Lebowski” is the deep, gravely sound of Sam Elliott’s narration. He immediately makes it feel like a western, but then it segues into Los Angeles.

So right off the bat, you have a cowboy narrator that seems mildly confused about the story he’s beginning to tell. At the end of the movie, we see Elliott’s character, called “The Stranger,” sitting at the bar closing out the tale.

In an interview with “The Playlist,” he said he did eight or nine takes. When Elliott asked what the Coen brothers wanted, they admitted he’d nailed it early on. They just enjoyed hearing him do it so they kept doing more takes. It may be a fact that no one can say “sasparilla” like Sam Elliott.

Go ahead. Prove us wrong.

The Big Lebowski Changed Elliott’s Career

The Dude and the Stranger get along well.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elliott described how “The Big Lebowski” changed his career trajectory.

Elliott was long known for being a cowboy character actor, and said he was sick of being stuck in “that box.”

After Coen’s film, he nabbed a role in “The Contender,” where he played chief of staff to Jeff Bridges’ role as president.

Everyone Could Use Some Sam Elliott In Their Lives

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