The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

Carter's Notes

The soundtrack of this pseudo-detective-mystery appears to be entirely "source" music, such as the pop songs Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski listens to on his Walkman. To maintain the conceit that all the music comes from The Dude's mind, the score also sticks to the song form. In the case of "Dick On A Case", The Dude sees himself as a private dick and the music is jazz. As The Dude follows Jon Polito, an actual detective, into his car the music shifts from score to source music emanating from his car radio.

The Nihilists

The story also involves a band of nihilist Germans, and in their final scene their music is playing on a boombox. For this I wrote "Wie Glauben" ("We Believe" in German) a techopop tune.

The pre-existing songs (the ones I didn't write) were assembled by T-Bone Burnett.


Jeff Bridges as The Dude

Film Info

Directed by Joel Coen
Written by Ethan and Joel Coen
Produced by Ethan Coen

Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Carter Burwell
Music Archivist: T-Bone Burnett
Music Editor: Todd Kasow
Contractor: Sandy Park
Music Scoring Mixer: Michael Farrow
Recorded and mixed at Right Track Recording, New York

Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro

U.S. Premiere March 6, 1998


John Turturro
Jeff Bridges and Johnn Goodman


"One of the film's indisputable triumphs is its soundtrack, which mixes Carter Burwell's original score with classic pop tunes and some fabulous covers." - Todd McCarthy, Variety, June 20, 1998

"Saving graces include the photography by Roger Deakins, the music by Carter Burwell and most of the performances." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle, March 6, 1998

"As ever, it's the screwy textures, from Carter Burwell's blowsy music to costume designer Mary Zophres' wiggy duds, that make The Big Lebowski a richly rancid enjoyment. The raucously rattletrap musical selections add a fitting, pungent quality to this delirium." - Duane Bygre, The Hollywood Reporter, Jan 20, 1998.