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“THE BIG LEBOWSKI” Next Up on “Staff Pics” Classic Series: App Theatre Screens Coen Brothers Crime-Comedy Film on Jan. 24

BOONE, NC – Favorite “Staff Pics” movies continue at the Appalachian Theatre at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24 with screening of the Coen Brothers’ classic crime-comedy “The Big Lebowski” in the historic theatre on King Street in downtown Boone.

The film was proposed by App Theatre Technical Director George Antczak and runs just under two hours at 118 minutes in duration. This quirky ’90s comedy received an “R” rating from the Motion Pictures Association of America for the prevalence of drugs, sex, profanity, and violence onscreen. Audience members under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“The Big Lebowski” (pronounced /ləˈbaʊski/) is a 1998 crime comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. This effort by the Coen Bros. is about Jeff `The Dude’ Leboswki being mistaken for Jeffrey Lebowski, who is “The” Big Lebowski. Which explains why he’s roughed up and has his precious rug peed on. In search of recompense, The Dude tracks down his namesake, who offers him a job — his wife has been kidnapped, and he needs a reliable bagman. To carry out the job, The Dude is aided and hindered by his pals Walter Sobchak, a Vietnam vet, and Donny, master of stupidity.

It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker and avid bowler. He is assaulted because of mistaken identity, then learns that a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) was the intended victim. The millionaire Lebowski’s trophy wife is kidnapped, and millionaire Lebowski commissions The Dude to deliver the ransom to secure her release; the plan goes awry when the Dude’s friend Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) schemes to keep the ransom money for himself.

Notable Hollywood celebrities Sam Elliott, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, David Thewlis, Peter Stormare, Jon Polito, and Ben Gazzara also appear in “The Big Lebowski,” in supporting roles.

The film is loosely inspired by the work of Raymond Chandler. Joel Coen stated, “We wanted to do a Chandler kind of story – how it moves episodically and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery, as well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.” The original score was composed by Carter Burwell, a longtime Coen brothers’ collaborator.

Although the spoken words, “The Dude abides…” is a kind of mantra in the film “The Big Lebowski,” and is repeated 160 times and the word “man” some 147 times, the saying is a reference to a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 1:4. “One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the Earth abides forever.” It is a reference to how the Dude, much like the Earth, can weather change and chaos around him, but remain the same.

“The Dude abides” is a reference that something is to follow it, to obey the rules. But when The Dude says it, he doesn’t mean being a square or listening to the man. When you abide, you go with the flow. You accept life as it comes. And if there’s anything that The Dude will always do, it’s go with the flow.

The film has become a cult favorite, noted for its eccentric characters, comedic dream sequences, idiosyncratic dialogue, and eclectic soundtrack. In 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. A spin-off, titled The Jesus Rolls, was released in 2020, with Turturro reprising his role and serving as writer and director.

Note that all Films@TheApp are shown without movie previews or trailers, so please arrive a few minutes before the scheduled start time to secure tickets and purchase concessions. The general admission ticket price is just $6 per person, which includes taxes and handling fees.

App Theatre Executive Director Suzanne Livesay proposed the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel “Pride & Prejudice” as the remaining film on the “Staff Pics” series. It will be screened at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31.

While the App Theatre’s online ticketing system is accessible 24/7, customers can avoid the online service fees by visiting the lobby box office between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday, or one hour prior to showtime for each film. For a complete performance schedule of all upcoming events, or to sign up for the theatre’s e-blast distribution list, visit the organization’s website at www.apptheatre.org.

Events, days, dates, times, performers, and prices are subject to change without notice.