Your Turn: User Nominations

Your Turn: Jeffrey Lebowski (aka The Dude)

From The Big Lebowski, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Nominated by Mat Cloak

Jeff Bridges as The Dude.

Obviously, he's not a golfer: Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski. Polygram hide caption

itoggle caption Polygram

How can a single, unmotivated and unemployed bum possibly be appealing to the masses?

Because despite having his favorite rug urinated upon ... despite being forced to take a bath with a weasel ... despite having a nut-job friend who cannot stop relating everything to Vietnam, The Dude seems to always keep his cool.

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is such an idealistic character because he is everything that the workingman is not. His life is stress-free, without restraints such as a job, a woman — or pretty much any obligations. His time is consumed by "rolling" (spending time at the bowling alley) and drinking white Russians.

The Dude reminds America that if he can stay calm while in the mix of an unbelievably sticky ordeal, we can make it too.

So as the wise Dude likes to say, "Just take it easy man."

Comments

 

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Are you aware Jeff Bridges SINGS too? I was on Michael McDonald's web site (he has a new cd out "Soul Speak") and one of the links at the end is Jeff Bridges' site as they are apparently good friends. VERY interesting, eclectic site and then his own cd of music (snippets to listen to). I had no idea the "dude" took his singing past "The Fabulous Baker Boys" movie.

Sent by Lilli | 12:50 PM | 3-7-2008

Well... That's just like your opinion, man.

Sent by Alex | 10:20 PM | 3-7-2008

You could also call him, Dudester or El Duderino.

Sent by Sarah | 3:14 PM | 3-12-2008

I think that this character is important to me because he is overwhelmingly laid back. He doesnt even go by his birth name and seems confused if referred to as it. He is the epitome of what i think many want to be, in the fact that he is unemployed, drinks white russians and smokes pot all day. And his only hobby seems to be Bowling with his pals. Not even kidnappings seem to get him stressed. Like us now, his story takes place at a time of war when things always seem to be more hectic than usual. even with this, the Dude moves along in a laid back (and probably stoned) manner in comparison to everyone else in the film(whether it be john goodmans character who is always talking about vietnam or steve bushcemis character who seems very stressed and worrysome throughout the film and ends up having a heart attack). I think it is one of the best characters of the last 15 years because he is what everyone wishes they were....Stress-Free.

Sent by Brett Misiolek | 3:36 PM | 3-19-2008

I was extremely disappointed with this In Character.

The whole thesis of The Dude as the "personification of casualness" is shallow. The Dude is interesting because he fails at maintaining casual. Despite the Cohen Brother's stated intenstions you also failed to compare to classic noir characters like Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade. His

The Dude is by no means "Stress-Free"! He uses alcohol and pot to escape from some from some very serious anxiety about the state of America. I wish you had used scene where Walter challenges The Dude, repeating "I'm calmer than you are". The Dude is most calm in scenes of defiance... versus Jeffery Lebowski, and then versus the Malibu Police Chief. I think the best way to look at The Dude is to compare these scenes to ones with Walter where is extremely aggravated.

Overall, the introduction could have consisted of more carefully chosen clips (especially with ones with Walter, his real foil) Also, interviews with a hardcore fan (if not the Cohens) as opposed to Bridges or Dowd, would have been more interesting than the whole "...a little Dude in all of us.." BS you pull at the end.

We look up to heroes because they posses traits we lack, not because they are "stress-free."

Brett Misiolek is way off about Donnie, saying "...Steve Bushcemi's character who seems very stressed and worrisome throughout the film..." it is Donnie who is the most at peace and truly lost in life, failing to notice the drama around him. Yet nobody has a poster of Donnie on the wall! Arg!

Regardless, thanks for producing this show!

Sent by Jacob S. | 7:55 PM | 5-26-2008

I take comfort in the Dude. He is someone to indentify with when you just don't have the energy to get up and take on the world. The Dude lets things come to him, he's an everyman. He's the king of a very small and lazy domain where nothing much happens unless you can manage to get off the couch, and sometimes even when you do get off the couch, still nothing happens. So go make yourself a "caucasian" a live a day like The Dude would live. You'll be better off for doing it.

Sent by Chuck | 11:04 AM | 5-27-2008

Chill Jacob S., This aggression will not stand, man. People relate with the dude because he is what most of us in good conscience could never be....intentionally unemployed, reefed all-day and able to have a caucasion before noon on a wednesday.

The Coen bros. used classic screenwriting technique (put your hero in a situation that is the antithesis of his/her element and let the antagonists throw rocks at him/her) with a lazy, pot-smoking bum as the hero. That is why many people relate.

PS. There is a word used by the Big Lebowski for "urinate" caller miterate. I've never heard it used since and I have a friend who has a literature masters and she said she had never heard of it. It is a word, isn't it. I mean, it must be, it was in the movie. "You've got a date Wednesday, baby."

Sent by Daniel Lawrence | 10:45 PM | 6-23-2008

@ Daniel: The word you're thinking of, I believe, is "micturate." And yup, it's a perfectly good English word.

Sent by trey | 11:19 AM | 6-26-2008

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