1,001 Movies – Week 18

“The Big Lebowski” to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”


The Big Lebowski (1998) – The Dude abides.  I must admit that I didn’t particularly like this film when it was released (beyond wanting to copy the wardrobe of John Goodman’s character) but with repeated viewings over the years it has grown on me.  A story of mistaken identity and bowling (!) this one goes down as smoothly as a White Russian and a, um, cookie.  Very subtle humor and great performances, especially Jeff Bridges as ‘The Dude’. (SB)

The Big Red One (1980) – This semi-autobiographical film from director Samuel Fuller recounts his days during WWII with the Armies 1st Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One. Lee Marvin leads the cast of young guns (including Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby DiCicco) through Italy and Africa in his raw, underrated action film.  (GS)

The Big Sleep (1946) – There are one or two murders in this one that even Raymond Chandler wasn’t sure who was responsible for committing them! Aside from that, this is as good as it gets – Bogie’s easier to root for than in The Maltese Falcon, the supporting cast is top notch and the dialog is sharp enough to draw blood. Even the throw-away lines are outstanding:  “Remember me?  Doghouse Reilly – the Man Who Didn’t Grow Very Tall…”  (KCL)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – Didn’t see this one until it hit video.  For some reason, I had decided it was one of those idiotic, macho action flicks, tried to avoid seeing it, and wanted to not like it when I did see it.  What the hell was I thinking?  This is a send up of the kind of movie I was trying to avoid, but manages to transcend itself.  And Kurt Russell was, and has never been, funnier. (KCL)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) – Must be seen to believe its sheer warm-hearted, sweet-natured goofiness. And frankly, there are worse people whose philosophy could have taken over the world – remember Nietzsche? (KCL)


Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)  

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