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Big Wednesday (1978)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Sport  -  May 1978 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,868 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 34 critic

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

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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:

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

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Matt Johnson: You know, Mrs. Barlow, there's something I'd like straighten out.
Mrs. Barlow: What's that, Matt?
Matt Johnson: Well, I did a lot of things around here I'm kind of ashamed of. I tore up your lawn with my '40 Ford...
Mrs. Barlow: Many times.
Matt Johnson: Took my pants off in front of your friends...
Mrs. Barlow: Oh, yes.
Matt Johnson: And I even passed out in your closet, but I never, and I don't know who could have if I didn't, but I never, and I repeat never, ever pissed in your steam iron.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Basil Poledouris: His Life and Music (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

She Wears My Ring
(uncredited)
Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant
Heard as background theme
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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