By the Numbers: The Big Lebowski

Because Cherry Lanes in Sturgeon Bay is celebrating the 1998 movie with The Dude Bash on April 20, we decided to share some facts about the cult film and its stars.


Although Donny is seen in many bowling shirts, not one bears his name. That is also the number of times the Dude is seen bowling in the bowling-heavy movie.


Rolling Stone recently named it the best stoner movie of all time, beating out Pineapple Express, Soul Plane and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.


Donny’s ashen remains were the culmination of a three-movie Coen Brothers joke about Buscemi’s characters’ remains getting smaller. In Miller’s Crossing, he leaves a dead body; in Fargo, a severed leg; and in The Big Lebowski, a coffee can of ash.


The number of times John Goodman (Walter Sobchak) and Steve Buscemi (Theodore Donald “Shut the f–k up, Donny” Kerabatsos) have appeared in movies by the Coen Brothers. These characters were written specifically for the actors, as was the character Jesus Quintano for John Turturro, who has appeared in four films by the Coens.


The number of white Russians the Dude drinks in the film.


The date of the 69-cent check the Dude writes for milk.


The number of times it is mentioned that the Dude’s rug was urinated upon. The fact that it “really tied the room together” is mentioned five times.


The mph achieved by the specialized RC car chassis that was used to film balls rolling down the lane.


The number of times the Dude utters the word “man.”


The number of times the word “Dude” is spoken.


The number of F-bombs dropped in the movie, which puts it above Brian De Palma’s Scarface.


The year of Raymond Chandler’s mean streets noir novel The Big Sleep, which the Coens had in mind while making The Big Lebowski.


The year of the Ford Torino that the Dude drove. The script called for a Chrysler LeBaron, but John Goodman couldn’t fit in it.


The year the movie was released to a modest reception. Several movie critics re-evaluated the film after panning it at first.


The year of the first Lebowski Fest. It was held in Louisville, Kentucky, and more than 30 cities have since hosted a similar festival.


The year the Hollywood Star Lanes in Santa Monica, California –  where the bowling-alley scenes were shot – was torn down to make way for a new elementary school.


The year The Big Lebowski was recognized as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant film by the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. It was among 25 films inducted that year, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rosemary’s Baby, Saving Private Ryan and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 original, starring Gene Wilder).


The amount then-Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein wanted for the use of the song “Dead Flowers” in the film, but when he saw the scene in which the Dude says he hates the Eagles, Klein waived the licensing fee.