7.3/10
4,845
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
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Jack Barlow
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Leroy Smith
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Sally Jacobson
...
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Bear
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Jim 'Waxer' King
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Gerry Lopez
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Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
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Psychologist
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Sally's Husband
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Mrs. Barlow
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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

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 »

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

Spectator: Hey, do you surf, man? Are you a surfer?
Bear: Oh, no... Not me, I'm just a garbage man.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Plages des 60's: Malibu: Surf Forever (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lucille
(uncredited)
Written by Little Richard and Albert Collins
Performed by Little Richard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Classic beyond classic.
28 September 2004 | by (San Diego) – See all my reviews

Down the street from my house is a restaurant/bar called RT's Longboard grill, which was opened by family as a tribute to a brother lost at sea. Adorning the bamboo laden walls, amongst yesteryear photos, boards, posters, and memorabilia, are TV screens which endlessly show classic surfing movies. The feeling one gets in this environment is similar to what one gets watching Big Wednesday. This isn't a surf movie in the sense of the word. You see, the trendy, infantile children that drunkenly roam the streets of Pacific Beach (where I live in San Diego)for the most part don't have souls, sadly, living in the very town in which many surf legends have been born. Hard pressed to find are the light hearted conversations over a good burger, malt, and a good set of waves. Big Wednesday contains such an epic story. OK... I seem bitter. It's because I am. I know the word "dude" and a nose covered in sunscreen is an easy stereotype... but the spiritual life altering experience behind surfing is most often misunderstood. What is your passion? Do you have one? It may be your children. It may be horses. It may be hockey. But no matter what goes wrong in your life, or who dies or what happens, at the core is your passion (translated : spirituality)... something pure. At the heart of this movie is this purity... and after the draft, relationships, addictions, and just plain adolescent insanity, the characters find that their friendship is still alive because of a common love. Don't try and make too much sense of this review. This isn't a restaurant review. I can't explain the feeling nor would I expect the 95% of America that doesn't live near a surf-able wave to get it...just watch the movie.


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