In the autumn of 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen were a few months from filming their seventh feature film, The Big Lebowski. Their sixth, Fargo, was released that March to acclaim; awards would follow. Alex Belth, a 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker, landed a job as their personal assistant on Lebowski — and for the next year, was the fly on the wall as the Coens created the movie that would become an enduring movie classic. First as their personal assistant and then as an assistant film editor, Belth observed everything from the pre-production work of location scouting, casting, and rehearsals, all the way through filming and post-production. Belth witnessed when Jeff Bridges and John Goodman met for the first time and rehearsed their iconic roles as The Dude and Walter; when a private screening was held for Alan Klein, the Rolling Stones’ notorious former business manager; and long editing sessions with the Coen brothers in the editing room, as they tied their movie together.
The Dudes Abide is the first behind-the-scenes account of the making of a Coen Brothers movie, and offers an intimate, first-hand narrative of the making of The Big Lebowski — including never-before-revealed details about the making of the film, and insight into the inner workings of the Coen Brothers’ genius.
About the Author: Alex Belth, praised as New York’s best sportswriter by the Village Voice, is the creator of Bronx Banter, a blog about the New York Yankees. He began his career in the film business, working for Woody Allen, Ken Burns, and the Coen Brothers. Belth is the author of Stepping Up, a biography of Curt Flood, and the editor of The Best Sports Writing of Pat Jordan and Yankee Stadium Memories. He has written for Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, and The Daily Beast and Deadspin. His story on iconoclastic sportswriter George Kimball was included in The Best American Sports Writing 2012.[Cover Design by Adil Dara]