7.3/10
4,766
59 user 34 critic

Big Wednesday (1978)

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

Director:

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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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1978 (Italy)  »

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
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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

During the 1962 party at Jack's house, his mother is reading the book 'Catch-22', a book first published in 1961. However, the copy she is reading is an edition that had not yet been printed. The photo of author Joseph Heller on the back of the jacket is clearly from years later than 1962. See more »

Quotes

Lucy: Will you delinquents shut up? Someday you'll have to straighten out and earn a decent living. Pay attention and grow up sometime. Turn into a respectable person.
Leroy the Masochist: He's a well-respected surfer.
Lucy: That's not a sport, it's a disease.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Locomotion
(uncredited)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Performed by Little Eva
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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