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

Director:

John Milius
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan-Michael Vincent ... Matt Johnson
William Katt ... Jack Barlow
Gary Busey ... Leroy Smith
Patti D'Arbanville ... Sally Jacobson
Lee Purcell ... Peggy Gordon
Sam Melville ... Bear
Darrell Fetty ... Waxer
Gerry Lopez ... Gerry Lopez
Hank Worden ... Shopping Cart (as Hank Warden)
Joe Spinell ... Psychologist
Steve Kanaly ... Sally's Husband
Barbara Hale ... Mrs. Barlow
Fran Ryan ... Lucy
Dennis Aaberg ... Slick
Reb Brown ... 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:

A story of three friends growing up in the sixties; of ten years filled with parties; weddings and uncertainties; and of the day we must all face... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the final theatrical film of Barbara Hale. 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

[Leroy the Masochist pretends to be insane to avoid being drafted]
Psychologist: I see here they call you a masochist.
Leroy the Masochist: I like pain.
Psychologist: Can you be specific? What kind of pain do you like?
Leroy the Masochist: Any kind of pain.
Psychologist: Such as?
Leroy the Masochist: I like fights, I've dove through windows, I've eaten light bulbs, I like sharks, any kind of blood. If you gave me a gun, I'd shoot you in the face just to see what it looked like when the bullet hit.
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Alternate Versions

ABC edited 31 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. 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
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User Reviews

 
Schmaltzy, beautifully shot coming of age drama with the ever watchable Gary Busey.
3 March 2001 | by moz-1See all my reviews

Gary Busey's career high as the insane "Masochist" with the irrisistable quote "More Beer!". Okay, this is a little patchy, but it's beautifully shot and has that old fashioned innocence that most modern teen films lack. The surfing rules and the leading trio is well played. Oh and I forgot to mention, the entire narration is by none other than Elm street's Fred Kreuger, a.k.a Robert Englund, which just makes it uber-cool in my minds eye; but I am biased. A great feel-good movie from when movies still felt pretty good.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 May 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Wednesday See more »

Filming Locations:

La Libertad, El Salvador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

A-Team See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
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