7.3/10
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Big Wednesday (1978)

The lives of some California surfers from the early '60s to the '70s.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Matt Johnson
...
Jack Barlow
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Leroy Smith
...
Sally Jacobson
...
...
Bear
...
Jim 'Waxer' King
...
Himself
...
Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
...
Psychologist
...
Sally's Husband
...
Mrs. Barlow
...
Lucy
Dennis Aaberg ...
Slick
...
Enforcer
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Storyline

Matt Johnson, Jack Barlow, and Leroy Smith are three young California surfers in the 1960s. At first reveling in the carefree life of beaches, girls, and waves, they eventually must face the fact that the world is changing, becoming more complex, less answerable by simple solutions. Ultimately the Vietnam war interrupts their idyll, leaving them to wonder if they will survive until "Big Wednesday," the mythical day when the greatest, cleanest, most transcendent wave of all will come. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A day will come that is like no other... and nothing that happens after will ever be the same See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Summer of Innocence  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Berenger auditioned for the part of "Jack Barlowe" that went to William Katt. See more »

Goofs

It is 1965, but 1970s cars are visible as they drive to the military entrance processing station. See more »

Quotes

Leroy the Masochist: Why don't you get back to Burbank!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

What'd I Say
(1959) (uncredited)
Written by Ray Charles
Performed by Ray Charles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Man's Surfing Film?
17 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The lives of some California surfers from the early '60s to the '70s.

Who should have been cast: Jan-Michael Vincent or Jeff Bridges? Well, in retrospect, Bridges might have drawn more acclaim to this picture. But Vincent nails the role, and although not as big of a name, he was the man for the job.

John Milius is known for his conservative, manly films. This does not really mesh with the idea of the surfer, at least until you see this film. Then you understand that the surfer - to Milius - is a libertarian at heart, fighting against the "lifeguard state".

The film features great music, great fights, and a nice cameo from a then-unknown Robert Englund. And heck, this is Gary Busey in his prime.

Interestingly, because the film takes place during the Vietnam War, this acts like something as a counterpoint to "Apocalypse Now", another Milius film. What message are we to get from the two combined?


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