Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker who only wants to bowl and drink white Russians, is mistaken for another Jeffrey Lebowski, a wheelchair-bound millionaire, and finds himself dragged into a strange series of events involving nihilists, adult film producers, ferrets, errant toes, and large sums of money.
Dr. Ethan Powell, an anthropologist, is in Africa studying apes when he is lost for two years. When he is found, he kills 3 men and puts 2 in the hospital. Cuba Gooding's character is a psychiatrist who wants to take up the task of trying to get Dr. Powell to speak again and maybe even stand judgment at a trial for his release from prison of mental cases. Along the way, Cuba has to deal with also helping the mental patients that are being abused and neglected. In this process Cuba learns a few things about himself and life, and so does Anthony Hopkins character, Dr. Powell.