Film noir movies are stylish black and white films of dark, gritty crime and action movies of the ’40s and ’50s inspired by 1920’s European film. Favorite movies of this style are The Maltese Falcon (trailer), Strangers On A Train (trailer), The Killing (trailer) and plenty more.
In CineFix’s investigation, they list possible reasons why The Big Lebowski could be a film noir. First, the title of the film, references classic noir films like The Big Sleep (trailer), The Big Heat (trailer), and The Big Combo (full movie).
Second, in The Big Lebowski, a rich, handicap man hires The Dude to find his missing wife. In The Big Sleep, a rich old man hires Philip Marlowe to find his son-in-law. When Marlowe visits his client, he finds he’s a grumpy man stuck in a wheelchair.
Third, the scene where Jackie Treehorn gives The Dude a drugged White Russian, CineFix identifies many similarities to the classics such as The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and Murder, My Sweet.
CineFix further examines The Big Lebowski and determines the femme fatale, use of visual elements, protagonist analysis, and more.
But there are more recent movies that adhere to noir’s conventions so stringently that they start to push the boundaries of classification. This question of classification is further hampered when a film deliberately nails the basic elements and then flips them all for comedic effect. There is no better example of this than absurdist, stoner anthem, The Big Lebowski.