7.3/10
4,858
60 user 35 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
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Gerry Lopez
...
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

The character of Jack Barlow was loosely based on surfer Kemp Aaberg. Moreover, Kemp's younger brother Dennis Aaberg co-wrote the script for this film. 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

[Waxer pretends to be homosexual to avoid being drafted]
Sergeant: Are you a homosexual?
Waxer: Well, I guess I am. I wrote it down, "Homosexual Tendencies: Yes." Yes.
Sergeant: Well, you're just gonna love it in the United States Army. There's lots of men there. And they get real close in foxholes and tanks, and in combat. Get him out of here and process him in the Marine Corps.
Waxer: If you send me to Vietnam, I'll just die.
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Soundtracks

The Twist
(uncredited)
Written by Hank Ballard
Performed by Chubby Checker
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Awesome
14 March 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film in 1978, my father took me to see it with my brothers at the drive-in as a double feature with "Every Which Way But Loose." It's a movie that I have never forgotten. It combines brilliantly heart gripping surfing action, heart wrenching emotions, and heart uplifting humour, all set against the back-drop of the Vietnam War, teenagers growing up, the wisdom of elders (Bear) and of course, the surfing.

I've never surfed a minute of my entire life (although whenever I watch this, I feel like I should), so don't think of this as a "surf movie". It simply is an excellent piece of cinematic history that you will feel you missed on if you never see it.

Recommended with 2 thumbs way way way up.


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