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Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is based on a real person


Good movies based on real people

Sometimes the truth is definitely stranger than fiction. Team NerdiPop scoured the Internet and found some cool real-life people who inspired some really good movies. We’ll be presenting our findings in the next few posts.

The Big Lebowski (1988)

Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski


Synopsis: Jeff Bridges plays Jeff Lebowski who insists on being called “the Dude,” a laid-back, easygoing burnout who happens to have the same name as a millionaire whose wife owes a lot of dangerous people a whole bunch of money – resulting in the Dude having his rug soiled, sending him spiralling into the Los Angeles underworld (source: IMDb).

Jeffrey Lebowski’s character is based on a real person. That person is Mr. Jeff Dowd (aka The Dude).

The Coen brothers have a habit of putting real people in their movies, then being hailed as geniuses for creating them. The Dude, for example, is inspired by their friend Jeff Dowd, and by “inspired” we mean “it’s the same guy.” The main difference is that Dowd actually has a job (he’s a film producer), but the Dude’s personality, drink of choice, nickname, and even biography (some parts, anyway) are all borrowed from Dowd. In the movie, the Dude mentions that he was a member of the Seattle Seven, a group of political activists who were arrested in 1970 — in real life, that was Dowd.


Meanwhile, some of the Dude’s misadventures were based on anecdotes told to the Coens by fellow screenwriter Peter Exline, who once had his car stolen and found a teenager’s homework inside when it was recovered. Exline and a friend tracked down the teenager and interrogated him in his living room, where his sick father (a Hollywood veteran) lived in a hospital bed. That whole story appears pretty much verbatim in the film. (source: Cracked.com)


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