Bad Blake vs. The Dude | A Character Comparison

“I wasn’t born Bad. My tombstone will have my real name on it, but until then I’m just gonna stay Bad.”

“I’m the Dude, man, so that’s what you call me, you know.  That, or His Dudeness, ah, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

From a nickname used as a first name to high consumption of a signature beverage to driving an old rust coloured beater with a ‘traveler’ tucked between their legs, Bad Blake and Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski are two honest hombres cut from the same smoky, booze-soaked cloth.  They appreciate modest comforts during simple daily endeavours, such as driving with your pants undone or hitting a Ralph’s in your bathrobe, and are joined at the musical hip by classic country and rock overtones.  Since Crazy Heart writer/director Scott Cooper had never seen The Big Lebowski prior to filming, one can assume that executive producer and star Jeff Bridges had more than his fair share of dudeisms to scatter across the whole durned human comedy.

ARE WE GONNA SPLIT HAIRS HERE?

baddude1Strikes and gutters.
Bad pulls into the first gig of the movie at “a fucking bowling alley”, adorned with giant bowling pins reminiscent of the Dude’s Gutterballs dream sequence.

Not on the rug, man.
An immediate ‘urine association’ is made at the beginning of both films: in this case a piss jug from Bad’s truck is emptied into the parking lot.  We all know what happened to the Dude’s rug.

Another Caucasian, Gary.
Bad’s first female encounter is with a sullen blond barmaid, in pigtails, who takes his money (no tabs) in exchange for his first drink.  Duder’s first encounter is with a bored Ralph’s checkout girl, also sporting blond pigtails, while he’s purchasing cream for his inaugural White Russian of the film.

They’ve got us working in shifts!
Tony, the leader of Bad’s pickup band for the bowling alley gig, comes over to Bad’s motel room and asks him if he would mind coming by rehearsal a bit early so they can work on some leads. ‘Leads?’ exclaims Bad, in the same exasperated voice that the auto yard cop in Lebowski uses when the Dude asks him if he has any promising leads on his stolen car.

Mind if I do a J?
No explanation required.

It’s down there somewhere. Lemme take another look.
When Bad stumbles out the back door of the bowling alley to throw up in a garbage can, his glasses fall into the can during the process. He then reaches in, picks them out and shakes them off.  The Dude’s sunglasses, as we all know, also fall into the can during the infamous first apartment scene in Lebowski, and he reaches in and shakes them off with equal aplomb.

Wouldn’t hold out much hope for the tape deck, though.  Or  the Creedence.
Bad is first interviewed in his motel room by Jane, while he sits on the couch eating his steak.  The Dude is also sitting in his apartment while being questioned by the police in regards to his stolen items.

Dude’s car got a little dinged up.
Bad’s truck swerving across the highway before rolling into the ditch is eerily reminiscent of the Dude’s dipsy-doodle crash into the dumpster.

You mix a helluva Caucasian, Jackie.
In what I would deem to be the most symmetric moments between the two films, each character passes out drunk/drugged, falling face down on the bed/floor, with the same camera angle shooting up from below. (also pictured below)

baddude2That rug really tied the room together, did it not?
Near the end of the film, when Bad is back from rehab and playing his regular Saturday night gig at Wayne’s bar, a camera shot moves forward from entrance to bar to stage, revealing a very Dude-like rug covering the stage.  That rug really tied the film together, did it not?

THERE ISN’T A LITERAL CONNECTION, DUDE.
(unless you’ve been smoking a lot of Thai Stick)

Female prison fight on TV vs. Logjammin on TV; Played baseball vs. Sadaharu Oh baseball shirt; Playing gigs vs. Bowling tournaments; Son he didn’t know vs. Son he didn’t know he had conceived; Polishes guitar vs. Polishes bowling ball; Bad’s manager out front of bungalow in robe vs. The Dude out front of bungalow in robe; The song ‘Fallin’ and Flyin’ vs. The Dude falling, then flying!  Catch ya further on down the trail.

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