Car Movies: The Big Lebowski

NOTE: This was written as an ill-fated entry for the Jalopnik “Next Top Car Blogger” contest. I read the rules before they’d updated them to specify a 40-word limit on the lede, and didn’t bother to re-read the rules before submitting. In reality, a 150-word lede is ridiculous anyway, so it’s my own fault either way.

The Big Lebowski was not a success, critically or financially. Pointing that out now, a dozen years later, seems kind of strange. But for a movie that cost $15 million, a final domestic gross of just over $17 million isn’t exactly burning up the turnstiles. It wasn’t until it hit rental and the stoners, the frats, the punks dropping tabs of acid during the Busby Berkeley dance sequences, and the ironic mid-oughts proto-hipsters got their grubby mitts on it that it turned into a cult classic, a cultural touchstone, and finally a financial success. But this is not a sociology or, for that matter, film blog. We’re not here to talk about the cultural significance of John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak vis-à-vis Neo-conservatism, to dissect the movie’s Phillip Marlowe-meets-Cheech & Chong plot, or even to quote dialog ad naseum until we run out our word limit. After all, this is not ‘Nam. There are rules. Continue reading Car Movies: The Big Lebowski