Good movies based on real people

There are instances when reality definitely outshines fiction. Team NerdiPop scoured the web for some interesting real-life characters who inspired some fantastic films.

The Big Lebowski (1988)

Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski



Jeff Bridges portrays Jeff Lebowski, a laid-back, easygoing burnout who insists on being called “the Dude,” who also happens to share the same name as a millionaire whose wife owes a lot of dangerous people a lot of money, which causes the Dude to have his rug soiled and sends him spiraling into the Los Angeles underworld.

The character of Jeffrey Lebowski is based on a real person. Mr. Jeff Dowd is that individual (aka The Dude).

The Coen brothers have a tendency of including real individuals in their films and then getting praised for doing so. For example, The Dude is influenced by their mutual acquaintance Jeff Dowd, and by “inspired,” we mean “the same man.” The primary distinction is that Dowd actually works as a film producer, but even so, The Dude’s persona, preferred beverage, nickname, and even biography (at least in part) are all taken directly from Dowd. The Dude makes a reference to being a part of the Seattle Seven, a group of political activists who were detained in 1970; in reality, Dowd was one of them.


The Coens’ fellow screenwriter Peter Exline, who once had his car stolen and was surprised to find a teenager’s schoolwork inside, provided some of the experiences that served as the inspiration for the Dude’s misadventures. The teen was located by Exline and a friend, who then questioned him in his living room while his ailing father, a Hollywood veteran, slept in a hospital bed. The entire narrative is presented in the movie almost word for word.