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Big Wednesday (1978)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Sport  -  May 1978 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,900 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 34 critic

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

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Title: Big Wednesday (1978)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Matt Johnson
...
Jack Barlow
...
Leroy Smith
...
Sally Jacobson
...
Peggy Gordon
...
Bear
...
Jim 'Waxer' King
...
Himself
...
Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
Joe Spinell ...
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

Plot Keywords:

wave | california | surfer | 1960s | vietnam | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | 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

Jeff Bridges turned down the role of "Matt" that went to Jan-Michael Vincent. See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

[Leroy the Masochist pretends to be insane to avoid being drafted]
Psychologist: I see here they call you a masochist.
Leroy the Masochist: I like pain.
Psychologist: Can you be specific? What kind of pain do you like?
Leroy the Masochist: Any kind of pain.
Psychologist: Such as?
Leroy the Masochist: I like fights, I've dove through windows, I've eaten light bulbs, I like sharks, any kind of blood. If you gave me a gun, I'd shoot you in the face just to see what it looked like when the bullet hit.
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

 
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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