Filmsite Movie Review
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Pages: (1) (2) (3) (4)
The Story (continued)

The Limousine Ride Home - "Life Goes On, Man!":

Still with a White Russian in his hand, the Dude was chauffeured back home in the backseat of Tony's (stand-up comedian Dom Irrera) limousine, while the radio played the first verse of Dean Martin's "Standing on the Corner" - about a life of passive observation:

"Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Brother you don't know a nicer occupation
Matter of fact, neither do I
Than standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go"

Maude's driver Tony told about a previous whining passenger [Note: This was a verbatim excerpt frin Don Irrera's 'I Can't Complain' comedy routine]:

"So he says, 'My wife's a pain in the ass. She's always bustin' my friggin' agates. My daughter's married to a real loser bastard. And I got a rash so bad on my ass, I can't even sit down. But you know me. I can't complain.'"

The Dude described his own unusual day: "Earlier in the day, I was really feelin' s--tty, man. Really down in the dumps. Lost a little money..." Tony advised: "Hey you know what? Forget about it, huh? Forget about it," and the Dude was reminded of his own Zen-like attitude toward life: "Yeah, f--k it, man! I can't be worried about that s--t. Life goes on man!"

Confronted by Mr. Lebowski For Failing to Deliver the Ransom Money - The Severed Toe:

When he arrived home, Tony noticed that a man in a blue 1971 Volkswagen Beetle had followed them all the way.

[Note: Much later, the driver of the VW was identified as a private detective stalking and trailing the Dude.]

As the Dude pondered who the driver was, he was grabbed by a second uniformed chauffeur (Gérard L'Heureux) who dragged him into the back seat of Mr. Lebowski's 1988 Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousine, while he tried to save his drink: ("Hey, hey, hey careful, man! There's a beverage here!").

There, he was viciously questioned by Brandt and Lebowski, who demanded answers for why the kidnappers never received the ransom money, while the Dude was at a loss for words:

"Start talking and talk fast, you lousy bum!...Where's my god-damn money, you bum?!...They did not receive the money, you nitwit! They did not receive the money! HER LIFE WAS IN YOUR HANDS!"

The Dude calmly stated: "Nothin' is f--ked, here!", causing extreme consternation from Lebowski: "THE GODDAMN PLANE HAS CRASHED INTO THE MOUNTAIN!" The Dude attempted to be believable, but became incoherent: "Well man, come on, who're you gonna believe? Those guys, or uh -- we dropped off the damn money --." Lebowski exclaimed: "WE?!" Realizing his faux pas, the Dude backtracked with a long-winded "blathering" (Lebowski's word) explanation - he reiterated Walter's (and Maude's) viewpoint on Bunny's self-imposed kidnapping - and interjected with Maude's phrase ("in the parlance of our times"):

"I. The royal we. You know, the editorial - I dropped off the money, exactly as per - Look, man. I've got certain information, all right? Certain things have come to light, and, ya know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh uh, blaming me, you know, given the nature of all this new s--t, you know it, it it, this could be a uh, a lot more uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean it's not just, it might not be, just such a simple, uh, you know?...

I've got information, man! New s--t has come to light and, and, s--t, man! She kidnapped herself! (pause) Well, sure man. Look at it! You know. A young trophy wife, in the parlance of our times, ya know. She uh, uh, owes money all over town, including to known pornographers. And that's cool. That's - that's cool. I-I'm sayin', she needs money, man, and uh, you know, of course, they're gonna say they didn't get it, uh, uh, because she wants more, man. She's gotta feed the monkey. I mean, uh, hasn't that ever occurred to you, man? Sir?... Well, OK, ya know, you guys aren't privy to all the new s--t, so uh, ya know. But hey, that's what you - that's what you pay me for."

At the end of his unconvincing theory, the Dude requested payment in cash (off the books) - due to his concern that a traceable payment would bump him up into a higher tax bracket:

"Aha, Uhm. Speakin' of which, do you think, uh, that you could, uh, give me my 20,000 in cash? Uh, my concern is, and I've gotta check with, with my accountant, but that this might bump me up into a higher tax, uh -... Oh well, if you've already got the check made out, that, that's cool."

Brandt pulled out an envelope received that morning from the kidnappers. (Notice that the Dude reached for the envelope with his right hand, but when the camera angle changed, he was reaching for it with his left hand (with a wedding ring!). Earlier when Treehorn's thugs assaulted him, he had no wedding ring on either hand, and made a particular show that he wasn't married by flashing his right hand, instead of his left).

The envelope didn't contain a check for the Dude's compensation, but contained a severed toe, presumed to be one of Bunny's, prefaced by Mr. Lebowski's wrathful ultimatum - that he would work with the kidnappers to punish the Dude:

"Since you have failed to achieve, even in the modest task that was your charge, since you have stolen my money, since you have unrepentantly betrayed my trust, I have no choice but to tell these bums to do whatever is necessary to recover their money from you, Jeffrey Lebowski. And with Brandt as my witness, I will tell you this: Any further harm visited upon Bunny will be visited tenfold upon your head."

(The Dude unrolled the pink cotton wrapping - revealing a bloodied pinky toe with emerald green nail polish.)

"My God sir. I will not abide another toe."

In a Coffee Shop With Walter:

Walter and the Dude sat at the counter of Johnie's Coffee Shop (to the tune of "Tammy" performed by Debbie Reynolds on the juke-box or soundtrack) drinking coffee.

[Note: The classic diner/coffee shop, now non-functional but still standing, was at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. (6101) and Fairfax Ave. in the Beverly Grove area of LA.]

Walter was unimpressed by the toe and refused to believe that it belonged to Bunny: "That wasn't her toe, Dude," and that he could easily acquire a toe: "You want a toe? I can get ya a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me....Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon, with nail polish. These f--king amateurs."

The stressed-out Dude (Walter: "That's just the stress talkin', man!") was fearful that the ransom victim Bunny would be killed: "They're gonna kill her, Walter, and then they're gonna kill me..." Walter called the whole fiasco "a series of victimless crimes" and screamed out: "FORGET ABOUT THE F--KIN' TOE!" - prompting the gray-haired waitress Lu (Lu Elrod) to ask him to lower his voice.

In an embarrassing outburst, he argued about an infringement of his right to free speech, using the principle of 'prior restraint.' His argument was that the waitress was attempting to limit what he could say before he said it:

Walter: "For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!"
Dude: "Walter, this is not a First Amendment thing."
Waitress: "If you don't calm down, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."
Watler: "Lady, I got buddies who died face-down in the muck so that you and I could enjoy this family restaurant! (to the Dude as he stormed out in frustration) ....Come on, this affects all of us, man! Our basic freedoms! (To the waitress) I'm stayin'. I'm finishin' my coffee. Enjoyin' my coffee."

[Note: "Prior restraint" can be defined as government action that prohibits expression before it takes place, i.e., 'gag' laws that deny the publication of books or newspaper articles, or the screening of movies. It differs from censorship that occurs after the expression takes place. "Prior restraint" is often considered the most egregious - and least tolerable - violation of First Amendment rights, since it prohibits speaking (and listening). However, prior restraint may be allowed in exceptional cases, such as when the nation was at war, or when the speech would incite violence.

There have been three important Supreme Court rulings regarding "Prior Restraint":

1. Near v. Minnesota (1931) - regarding newspaper reporting and freedom of the press
2. New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) - regarding classified government documents involving the Vietnam War
3. Miller v. California (1973) - regarding 'pornographic' materials]

Another Assault in the Dude's Apartment - With a Ferret:

While listening to a cassette tape ("Song of the Whale" - humpback whale sounds), The Dude was smoking a joint (in a roach clip) while reclined in a bathtub (his ten toes extended out of the soapy water at the far end of the tub), with candles lining the sides of the perimeter. When his phone rang, he heard his answering machine click on: "The Dude is Not In. Leave a Message After the Beep. Thanks, man." The call was from Duty Officer Rolvaag of the LAPD, reporting that his vehicle had been recovered and could be claimed at the North Hollywood Auto Circus on Victory Boulevard.

Suddenly, three German nihilists invaded The Dude's apartment - (the trio were presumably the three kidnappers who rode away on motorcycles from the ransom-drop location) - they were now semi-disguised in rubber scuba-diving outfits:

  • # 1 Uli (Peter Stormare), Bunny's boyfriend, the nihilists' leader
  • # 2 Dieter (Flea, the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, aka Michael Peter Balzary), with short-cropped hair
  • # 3 Franz (Torsten Voges), tall, with glasses

They battered his answering machine to bits with a wooden cricket bat. The Dude ineffectually complained: "Hey! Hey! This is a private residence, man!"

The lead nihilist Uli, who had a ferret on a leash (the Dude inaccurately called it a "nice marmot") dropped the animal in the bathtub water - it frantically splashed around as the Dude wildly kicked his feet and tried to prevent the frenzied ferret from biting his privates. All the nihilists, with heavy German accents, uttered threats at the Dude, and predicted bodily harm if he didn't hand over the ransom money: "We believe in nothing!...And tomorrow we come back and we cut off your johnson...I SAID WE'LL CUT OFF YOUR JOHNSON!...Ja, your viggly penis, Lebowski. Ja, and maybe we stomp on it and sqoosh it, Lebowski!"

At the Auto Circus, and at the Bowling Alley:

The Dude met with an Hispanic cop (Mike Gomez) at the parking lot of the impound auto yard known as the Auto-Circus, where he was told that his abandoned car had been located the previous night in Van Nuys, lodged against a retaining wall abutment after crashing there at the conclusion of a joyride.

[Note: The actual Auto-Circus lot where filming took place was in Long Beach, on E. Willow St. just south of the 405 Interstate.]

The thieves left the tape-deck and the Dude's Creedence tapes, but the driver's side door was crushed and non-functioning. The 1973 Ford smelled due to a vagrant who slept in the car and also urinated in it. [Note: This was the second instance of one of the Dude's possessions being urinated upon.] Mr. Lebowski's briefcase with the ransom money was missing from the backseat - he never looked in the trunk. The cop became hysterical when the Dude inquired about further leads for his smashed-up vehicle:

"Leads, yeah, sure. I'll uh, just check with the boys down at the Crime Lab. They uh, got uh, four more detectives working on the case. They've got us working in shifts. (Ha, ha, ha) Leads!"

A sound bridge (voice-over of the Dude worried about losing his masculinity) connected the auto-yard scene to the next scene at the bowling alley bar: "My only hope is that the Big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my dick off." With a White Russian in front of him, the Dude was flanked on his left by his two buddies. Walter continued to deny that there was a problem: "No one's gonna cut your dick off." The Dude wished he had never become involved in the whole string of catastrophes:

"This whole f--kin' thing - I could be sittin' here with just pee-stains on my rug."

Walter muttered: "F--kin' Germans. Nothin' changes. F--king Nazis." Donny piped up: "They were Nazis, Dude?" Walter answered: "Oh, come on, Donny, they were threatening castration! Are we gonna split hairs here?" The Dude corrected Walter: "They were nihilists, man....They kept saying they believe in nothing." Walter seemed to partially accept the Dude's correction, but veered off to speak about the illegality of their unlawful pet ferret (or marmot):

Walter: "Nihilists! F--k me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos...And also, let's not forget, let's NOT forget, Dude, that keeping wildlife, uhm, an amphibious rodent, for uhm, you know, domestic, within the city, that ain't legal either."
Dude: "What're you, a f--kin' park ranger now?... Who gives a s--t about the f--kin' marmot!"

The Dude was less assured, secure-feeling, and satisfied with their misdirected sympathy: "F--k sympathy! I don't need your f--kin' sympathy, man, I need my f--kin' Johnson!" Walter was concerned that the Dude's extreme anxiety and stress would affect their bowling tournament: "You gotta buck up, man, you cannot drag this negative energy into the tournament," and he and Donny left to go find a bowling lane.

A Visit From the Stranger at the Bowling Alley:

The morose Dude ordered another drink from bartender Gary (Peter Siragusa) - his favorite - a "Caucasian."

[Note: This was a nickname for a White Russian - it didn't refer to the white race, but instead, the name had its origins in the country known as Belarus, formerly called Byelorussia or White Russia. White Russians also referred to the anti-revolutionary forces after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, who supported the Tsar and opposed the Bolsheviks, and fought against the Red Army in the civil war. Interestingly, the drink itself was invented in 1949 by the bartender at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels to honor the US Ambassador to Luxembourg at the time, Perle Mesta, when he added cream to a Black Russian drink - making it a 'White Russian.' In fact, the drink had nothing to do with Russia - except possibly that it used vodka, the prime ingredient.]

The appearance of the Stranger (from the opening voice-over) at the bar seat next to the Dude was signaled by his signature tune on the jukebox: "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." As the camera pulled back, The Stranger (with a white cowboy hat, leather vest, denim shirt, and graying handle-bar mustache) came into view (in Donny's vacated seat) and asked for a drink: "Do ya got a good sarsaparilla?" and he agreed upon a "Sioux City Sarsaparilla." The amiable Stranger offered the Dude words of comfort about how life can often be arbitrary - there are 'good and bad days,' and 'sometimes you win, sometimes you lose':

"Well, a wiser fella than myself once said, 'Sometimes you eat the b'ar [bear pronounced with an accent] and...and sometimes the b'ar [bear], well, he eats you.'"

The Dude pondered: "That some kind of Eastern thing?" He complimented the Dude and his personal style - but with one caveat: "I like your style, Dude....There's just one thing, Dude...Do you have to use so many cuss words?"

[Note: This was a self-conscious comment by the Coens about their awareness of the film's rampant and intentional vulgarities.]

The Dude responded as expected and validated the Stranger's question: "What the f--k are you talkin' about?" The brief conversation ended as the Stranger moseyed on away: "OK, Dude, have it your way - take her easy, Dude."

The Dude's Second Meeting with Maude:

The Dude received a frantic phone call from Maude. She scolded him for not seeing a doctor, and demanded to see him immediately.

In Maude's apartment (with some mutilated, bald-headed mannequins in the background), the Dude met Britisher Knox Harrington (David Thewlis), Maude's gay, skinny, black-clad assistant (the "video artist") with a pencil-thin mustache and close-cropped hair, who identified himself as Maude's friend. [Note: Harrington resembled director John Waters.] The Dude added: "The friend with the cleft asshole?" Harrington self-admitted that he did "nothin' much" - except that he undoubtedly spent most afternoons perusing magazines and snickering with high-pitched giggles to himself.

When green cape-wearing Maude entered her studio moments later, she was carrying an assortment of objects for her avant-garde sculptures. In her left hand, she had a bag full of second-hand kitchen utensils, and in the other hand, a nakedly-bald mannequin torso to add to her collection. The Dude attempted to extricate himself from Maude's deal: "Listen, Maude, I got to, ah, tender my resignation or whatever, because, uh, it looks like your mother really was kidnapped after all." Maude insisted that Bunny was not a victim, but had plotted her own abduction:

"She most certainly was not!...And please don't call her my mother. She is most definitely the perpetrator and not the victim."

She soundly denounced the Dude's "definitive" evidential source of information: German nihilist and porn actor Uli Kunkel, whom she identified as Bunny's co-star "in the beaver picture." She described what she knew of him - he was a musical artist in a group known as 'Autobahn,' responsible for a 70s Techno-Pop recording:

"He's a musician, he used to have a group, 'Autobahn'. Look in my LPs. They released one album in the late 70s. Their music is sort of a, ugh, techno-pop..."

The Dude confirmed that there was an album in her collection, titled Nagelbett (literally "bed of nails" - seen in the cover illustration), picturing three young Germans (with matching red shirts, thin black ties, black pants and red lipstick). She denounced Uli as a co-conspirator in the scam, who was only pretending to be the kidnapper:

"So he's pretending to be the abductor?...Look, Jeffrey, you don't really kidnap someone you're acquainted with. The whole idea is that the hostage can't be able to identify you, after you've let them go."

When she asked if Uli had the ransom money, the Dude deflected answering her question:

"This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous. And uh, a lot of strands to keep in my head, man. Lot of strands in old Duder's head."

Maude received a phone call from "Sandro, about Biennale." (The call was about an art exhibition held every two years in Venice known as "The Venice Biennale" (in Italian) and in English as "The Venice Biennial.") While both Harrington and Maude were on the line engaged in uncontrollable and hysterical laughter, the Dude helplessly stood by - bewildered and not comprehending the foreign language (Italian) or their world.

The Doctor's Office-Checkup Examination:

Although the Dude didn't have any bruises or side-effects from being punched in the jaw during the second apartment assault, he took Maude's urgent promptings to see her recommended doctor to check on any "delayed after-effects." In the doctor's (Marshall Manesh) office, as an examination was conducted, the Dude was listening on headphones to Elvis Costello's "My Mood Swings." [Note: Costello's hit was recorded in 1997 and released in 1998, many years after the film's setting in 1990.] The injury had been to his jaw, but the Iranian-accented doctor insisted twice for him to strip down:

"Could you slide your shorts down Mr. Lebowski, please?"

The Dude's Car Crash and Discovery of Homework:

The scene segued into Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lookin' Out My Back Door" playing on the Dude's cassette deck in his beat-up car as he toked on a small roach joint and drank from a Meichtry Draft Beer (fictional beer!) bottle.- the song was apropos for three reasons:

(1) The Dude had presumably just had his 'back door' prostate examined by the doctor
(2) The Dude 'looked back' through his rear-view mirror and noticed the blue 1971 VW Beetle again following him
(3) The chorus of the song, "Doo, Doo, Doo" literally sounded like "Dude, Dude, Dude"

He flicked his roach out his driver's side window, but not realizing that the window was closed, it bounced back and fell into his lap. He crashed his already damaged and rusted Ford into a green dumpster while wildly attempting to douse the embers in his on-fire crotch with beer.

[Note: The car crash occurred on the south side of the 6,000 block of La Mirada Ave. in Hollywood - a small and narrow disconnected street between Vine St. and Cahuenga Blvd.]

Afterwards, luckily, he noticed there was no sign of the VW Beetle. With his sunglasses askew on his nose, he slid across the seat to exit the passenger-side door (the driver side door was inaccessible), when he spotted a crumpled up piece of lined, 3-hole punched notebook paper stuffed into the driver's seat cushion crease. Curious, he opened up the wrinkled page of handwriting with red-inked corrections. A schoolteacher named Mrs. Jamtoss (History Period 4) had graded the homework page of 9th grade student Larry Sellers on "The Louisiana Purchase" as a D (with a circle around it). Some of the teacher's circled notations or comments read: "Use a dictionary," and "Spelling."

The scene transitioned with a whited-out screen, and a fade in on another white screen.

Marty's Wacky Interpretive Dance Performance - Tuesday Night:

On a stage, a figure danced as a dark silhouette behind a backlit white screen before appearing in front of it, in the glare of a spotlight. This was the amateurish, vanity performance (art-premiere) that the Dude was invited to attend by his balding landlord Marty. Barefooted, Marty was wearing a 'nude' fully body-stocking as a cherub, with plastic green ivy vines strategically wrapped around his rotund and pudgy body. He was moving awkwardly to his own self-devised, bizarre, interpretative play enactment, accompanied by the music of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."

[Note: The dance costume resembled images in Fellini's movie, Fellini Satyricon (1969). The Palace Theatre at 630 Broadway in downtown Los Angeles doubled as Crane Jackson’s Fountain Street Theater, the same film locale for Maude's loft/warehouse.]

As two attendees in the sparse audience, the Dude and Donny (with an open and gaping mouth) sat dumbfounded in the almost-empty auditorium, watching Marty's unusual prancing on-stage. During the unimpressive performance, Walter (impressively dressed in a brown suit and tie) entered the seating area and from two seats away from the Dude, he whispered in his ear about the results of his investigative search regarding the whereabouts and identity of the student whose paper identified him as the vehicle's joy-rider - he had been located at a North Hollywood address where the young 9th grader lived with his father, a TV series writer:

"He lives in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-N-Out Burger...The kid is in ninth grade, Dude, and his father is - Are you ready for this? His father is, Arthur Digby Sellers....Have you ever heard of a little show called Branded, Dude?...All but one man died there at Bitter Creek?...F--king Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes, Dude...The bulk of the series...Not exactly a lightweight....And yet his son is a f--king dunce."

[Note: TV writer Arthur Digby Sellers had allegedly scripted 156 episodes of Branded (1965-1966), an actual western TV show from three decades earlier (the actual show was only 48 episodes) that followed a lone and wandering survivor, Jason McCord (Chuck Connors), after a battle fought at 'Bitter Creek.' The show was a hybrid-combination of two popular TV series in that decade, The Rifleman (1958-1963) (also starring Chuck Connors) and The Fugitive (1963-1967).]

According to Walter, the reconnaissance plan was to drive up near the burger place after the dance performance, to confront the Sellers family at their home and recover the stolen Lebowski attache case with the $1 million ransom money. He promised a great evening of food, fun, and laughter:

"We'll go out there and we'll brace the kid -- he should be a pushover. We'll get that f--king million dollars back, if he hasn't spent it already. A million f--king clams...Some burgers, beers, a few laughs. Our f--kin' troubles are over, Dude."

Walter's Homework Interrogation:

The Dude's dilapidated, noisy car pulled up in front of the small and modest Sellers home in a tree-lined, residential area of North Hollywood in the dark of night, where a fancy new red Corvette sports car was parked out front. [Note: It was actually a 1985 Corvette!].

[Note: The Sellers home in the film was located at 1824 Stearns Dr., in an area of LA known as Faircrest Heights, near the convergence of the 10 Freeway, S. Crescent Heights Blvd., Venice Blvd., and La Cienega Blvd.]

The Dude lamented to Walter: "Oh, f--k me, man! That kid's already spent all the money, man!" But Walter wasn't convinced: "I'd say he still has $960, $970,000 dollars left, dependin' on the options." With Walter and the Dude at the door (Donny waited in the car), it was answered by Spanish-speaking housekeeper (or nurse's aide) Pilar (Irene Olga López), who ushered them into the living room. Walter pointed out the father - "That's him, Dude!" - the ailing and incapacitated Arthur Digby Sellers (Harry Bugin) was at the far end of the room enclosed in an iron-lung with a noisy, automatic breathing mechanism. Pilar explained the obvious: "He has health problems." Walter confessed that both of them were "enormous fans...especially the early episodes" of Branded.

Walter claimed he was not a police official, but involved in an investigation of the Dude's stolen car, as 15 year-old 9th grader Little Larry Sellers (Jesse Flanagan) was called down and entered the room. Walter removed the rumpled sheet of homework (preserved in a zip-loc plastic see-through bag) from his briefcase and repeatedly inquired: "Is this your homework, Larry?" Little Larry silently sat staring back at them, until the exasperated Dude burst out with profanities: "We know it's his f--kin' homework! Where's the f--kin' money, you little brat?!" Walter threatened: "Have you ever heard of Vietnam?...You're entering a world of pain, son." They both accused Little Larry of stealing the car and the ransom money, and both made more extreme threats:

Dude: (resorting to the threat given to him by the German nihilists) "They're gonna cut your dick off, Larry."
Walter: "You're killing your father, Larry!"

According to Walter, it was "time for Plan B" - and he warned the "stone-walling" boy one last time: "Son, this is what happens when you f--k a stranger in the ass."

Walter marched outside to the Dude's trunk, removed an iron crow-bar, and wielded it to shatter all of the Corvette's windows and headlights, while maniacally screaming out: "You see what happens, Larry?!" (The young boy was visible in his front window as he observed) Across the street, lights went on in a home and the real Corvette owner (Luis Colina), a balding, bearded, heavy-set middle-aged man (in his boxer shorts and open shirt), approached and grabbed the crow-bar from Walter - he yelled out: "I just bought that f--king car last week...I'll kill your f--king car, man!" Walter flashed him a V-peace sign - an incongruous gesture given the fact that Walter had earlier criticized Smokey's pacifism ("Pacifism is not somethin' to hide behind").

He turned and vengefully ran toward the Dude's car (Donny who was sitting in the front seat lept out of the passenger side of the car just in time) and smashed all of its windows in retaliation. The Dude pleaded ineffectually that it wasn't Walter's car: "Whoa...No! Hey! Hey! THAT'S NOT his..."

After a blackscreen, the trio grimly drove home in the Dude's now-windowless car (the camera was filming them through the non-existent front window, as the breeze blew through the car). The soundtrack played Santana's "Oye Como Va," as Donny and Walter munched on In-N-Out burgers, and the Dude stared straight-ahead in stony silence. [Note: If a devout Jew, especially on Shomer Shabbos, Walter wouldn't be eating non-kosher fast-food burgers.]

Treehorn's Goons - a Second Visit:

On the phone with Walter later that evening as he hammered a two-by-four plank into the floor (parallel to the front door) to protect his bungalow's entryway, the Dude wanted no more of his 'help':

"I just want to handle it by myself from now on....No, Walter, it did not look like Larry was about to crack. Well, that's your perception. You know Walter, you're right. There is an unspoken message here - it's f--k you, leave me the f--k alone."

After hanging up, the Dude braced a straight-backed chair, wedging it between the plank and the front door-knob, to keep the door from being opened. However, he hadn't accounted for the door opening in a different direction. Woo and the long-haired blonde thug - Treehorn's two tough goons from the Dude's first assault - effortlessly opened the door outwards, sending the chair clattering to the floor.

[Note: During their second visit, the thugs had exchanged clothing. Woo now wore the blonde's tank-top while the Blonde wore the cut-off shirt.]

They sternly insisted on having the Dude join them to meet with their boss, porn producer Jackie Treehorn:

"Pin your diapers on, Lebowski. Jackie Treehorn wants to see you. Jackie Treehorn knows which Lebowski you are, Lebowski. Jackie Treehorn wants to see the deadbeat Lebowski. You're not dealing with morons here."

The screen suddenly turned black.

Jackie Treehorn and The Smut Business:

From the top of the screen, a busty, half-naked woman dropped into the frame, then bounced back up out of the frame. The topless female was being blanket-tossed up and down (seen from a top overhead view) by long-haired hippies, mostly wearing tank tops. From afar, they were viewed on a sandy beach illuminated by a large bonfire, where other party-goers (some naked) cavorted during a bacchanalian Tiki celebration.

[Note: The beach-party scene was shot at Point Dume State Park near Malibu, on Westward Beach Road.]

Out of the dark shadows emerged a tanned gentleman (wearing a white cotton suit and an untucked red silk shirt) walking toward the camera. He greeted the Dude and suavely introduced himself as Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara). The Dude was led through a luxurious, ultra-modern Malibu beach house (described by the Dude as a "pad... completely unspoiled") with an indoor pool.

[Note: The ‘Malibu’ beachfront home was a 1963-built residence located not by the beach but on a hillside in the 10,000 block of Angelo View Drive in Benedict Canyon, in the Beverly Crest neighborhood. The modernistic home was known as the Sheats-Goldstein House.]

Slouched back on the couch with his belly showing, the Dude asked about the "smut business," but Treehorn rejected the term: "I wouldn't know, Dude. I deal in publishing, entertainment, political advocacy." In a competitive field, he admitted that he regretted producing cheap, amateur, adult entertainment VHS videos, such as "Logjammin'," that neglected "little extras like story, production value, feelings."

As Henry Mancini's easy-listening, sleek and swanky "Lujon" played on the soundtrack, adult entertainment mogul Treehorn discussed the future of porn entertainment as totally digital:

Treehorn: "People forget, that the brain is the biggest erogenous zone...The new technology permits us to do very exciting things in interactive erotic software. Wave of the future, Dude. 100% electronic."
Dude: "Hmmm. Well, I still jerk off manually."

Holding a White Russian in his hand, the Dude listened as Treehorn got down to the real business at hand - the location of Bunny. He asked: "Where's Bunny?" The porn entrepreneur only knew that she had deliberately run off "to get away from that rather sizable debt" owed to him, and he still wanted his debt paid, whether she had been kidnapped or not. The Dude rambled to Treehorn about how there were a lot of "facets" and "interested parties" that were all after the money, coyly admitting that he was also trying to scam Bunny's husband and extract funds from him. A mysterious phone call interrupted Treehorn - he scribbled down something on a notepad sheet before tearing it off and excusing himself.

The Dude stealthily snuck over to the note-pad, grabbed a pencil, and shaded the imprint etched onto the pad - revealing a crude anatomical drawing of a man with an unusually large and erect penis. Startled, he put the shaded piece of paper in his pocket and quickly returned to the sofa when Treehorn returned - adopting a non-chalant pose. He negotiated to help Treehorn find his money for a 10% finder's fee of a half-a-million dollars. [Note: This was the third deal the Dude had made to recover the same money!] When offered a second, more potent drink, the Dude didn't hesitate, not realizing that a mickey had been slipped into his White Russian cocktail:

Treehorn: "A refill?"
Dude: "Yeah, did the Pope s--t in the woods?"

After solidifying the deal, the Dude eagerly assumed that he had just made some easy money - the 10% finder's fee ("5 Grand") - because he already had the answer. He told Treehorn that the money owed to him by Bunny was apparently absconded by 9th grader Larry Sellers, who lived in N. Hollywood near the In-N-Out Burger:

"I'm sure your goons can get it off uh, him. I mean, he's fifteen, and flunkin' Social Studies...The kid's got it. The kid just wanted a car."

As the Dude stood up, he almost fell over and stumbled backwards ("You mix a hell of a Caucasian, Jackie"), when Treehorn's two thugs materialized on either side of their dissatisfied boss, glaring down grimly and impassively at him.

A few moments later, the woozy Dude passed out after mumbling about his own self-interest for his fouled-up rug: "All the Dude ever wanted was his rug back. I'm not greedy. It would really tie the room together." The Dude's face plant hit the glass coffee table - filmed from below the glass surface as his face was squished against the glass. The image turned dark and black.

The Stranger narrated how the Dude had slipped into unconsciousness from his drugged drink:

(voice-over) "Darkness washed over the Dude -- darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom."

[Note: This imagery paid direct homage to the voice-over in the classic film noir, Murder, My Sweet (1944), when tough-talking, cynical PI Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) was struck in the head and passed out, and described how an inky blackness oozed over the frame and overtook him: "I caught the blackjack behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom."]


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