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Big Wednesday (1978)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  May 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,324 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 33 critic

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Johnson
Jack Barlow
Leroy Smith
Sally Jacobson
Jim 'Waxer' King
Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
Joe Spinell ...
Sally's Husband
Mrs. Barlow
Dennis Aaberg ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Three friends. Twelve Turbulent Years. And One Day We All Must Face. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Summer of Innocence  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Jack's induction notice says he is to serve in the United States Marine Corps. When he comes home from Vietnam he is an Army Green Beret. See more »


Narrator, Fly: Stay casual, Barlow.
See more »


Referenced in High Chaparall: Charlene Tilton (2004) See more »


Written by Little Richard and Albert Collins
Performed by Little Richard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A classic movie... the best surf movie of all times
13 June 2002 | by (Cascais, Portugal) – See all my reviews

A movie about surf, friendship and the hardness in growing up.

The movie has great surf pictures, great surfers (Gerry Lopez himself), it has a beautiful script and was very well directed.

I think this movie is already a classic for surfers and non-surfers... ;-)

I watch the movie in VHS long ago, and i´m waiting for the DVD (next month)

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Remake the_music_junkie
Big Wednesday filming location... garygray46
Fan-Bloody-tastic koloxxviii
surfing actors???? mister_figgins
soudtrack chacmol
Fight Scene nightpike11
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