7.3/10
5,008
61 user 37 critic

Big Wednesday (1978)

The lives of some California surfers from the early 1960s to the 1970s.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

This film follows an antisocial working-class husband and father struggling to find work in the Midwest. As the film progresses, it seems that he has little actual interest in supporting ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Jost
Stars: Tom Blair, Wayne Crouse, Jessica St. John
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American soldier who escapes the execution of his comrades by Japanese soldiers in Borneo during WWII becomes the leader of a personal empire among the headhunters in this war story told... See full summary »

Director: John Milius
Stars: Nick Nolte, Nigel Havers, Frank McRae
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

Director: Melvin Van Peebles
Stars: Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales
Milius (2013)
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at the life of filmmaker John Milius.

Directors: Joey Figueroa, Zak Knutson
Stars: John Milius, Ethan Milius, Amanda Milius
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.

Director: Bruce Brown
Stars: Robert August, Michael Hynson, Lord James Blears
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Gerry Lopez
...
Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
...
...
Sally's Husband
...
...
Dennis Aaberg ...
Slick
...
Enforcer
Edit

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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1978 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Summer of Innocence  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of the "Enforcer" was loosely based on longtime Malibu icon and waterman Ray Kunze, who looked out for Director and co-Screenwriter John Milus and co-Screenwriter Dennis Aaberg in the late 1950s. See more »

Goofs

During the party scene a girl screams "Waxer, no!" when another character, Crusher, not Waxer, attacks her. 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

Referenced in High Chaparall: Robert Englund (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Friends Theme
Music by Basil Poledouris
Lyrics & Vocals by Keola Beamer (as Keola) & Kapono Beamer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
more surfing instead of conservative angst please
9 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

John Milius's militant conservatism is somewhat subdued in this movie, though the movie was clearly made with a sense of nostalgia for a time when women and African-Americans knew their subjugated place and stayed there, and when going off to die pointlessly in an immoral war was seen as heroic and poignant. It's a film in which people who behave cruelly and stupidly are supposed to be viewed as charming. The script for the film is crude, predictable, and often unintentionally funny, especially in the portentous voice-over sections. The martial soundtrack, which tries to give the movie weight it otherwise lacks, is also unintentionally funny (I dare you not to laugh at the end when our three buddy-boy surfers march into the waves as to war, drums and trumpets blaring all up and down the beach). The performances are one-dimensional, though that's probably more the fault of the script than the actors. On the up side, the bodies are beautiful. Jan-Michael Vincent takes his shirt off as often as possible (as he tended to do in his younger days), and William Katt's youthful sculpted chest was a match for Vincent's. There's some great footage of water, and some fine surfing, though not enough for my taste. The climactic, final surf-scene is worth watching, despite the angsty bromance you have to endure to get there. It might be better with the sound off.


9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Paul Scheer lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch the show