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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character of Matt Johnson is based on real-life surfer Lance Carson, who struggled with alcoholism throughout the 1960's and 1970's. See more »
(at around 40 mins) Matt throws his raggy cloth at the oncoming car's windscreen. It misses and hits the top of the car's side window. In the next shot, the cloth is firmly across the whole bottom half of the car's front windscreen. See more »
Spectacular surfing sequences and very hazy 60s lives
The surfing sequences are what make this movie, some of the waves on Big Wednesday at the end look too huge and powerful to be real, and the sight of these men standing at the foot of them on their puny little boards, battling to outrun the awesome power of the water crashing down, is real heart-gripping stuff. The tale of a group of friends drifting through the sixties and seventies, getting into scrapes, having parties, trying to avoid Vietnam and doing all that stuff sixties movies live for, is well enough done, though the script gets a bit cliche-heavy at some points. The episodic format, a series of brief snapshots taken from various moments over a spread of ten years or so, helps capture the rambling nature of these people's lives, and gives an insight on how much things change and yet stay the same between a gang of old friends as the times move on and the world turns. Katt fares well as the narrator and core, as is Stringfellow Hawk as the former champ surfer, and Busey gives his normal crazy shouty brilliance, but the surf takes the honours.
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