7.2/10
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68 user 42 critic

Big Wednesday (1978)

Trailer
2:52 | Trailer
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 ... Jim 'Waxer' King
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 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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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

It is 1965, but 1970s cars are visible as they drive to the military entrance processing station. See more »

Quotes

Matt Johnson: You know, Mrs. Barlow, there's something I'd like straighten out.
Mrs. Barlow: What's that, Matt?
Matt Johnson: Well, I did a lot of things around here I'm kind of ashamed of. I tore up your lawn with my '40 Ford...
Mrs. Barlow: Many times.
Matt Johnson: Took my pants off in front of your friends...
Mrs. Barlow: Oh, yes.
Matt Johnson: And I even passed out in your closet, but I never, and I don't know who could have if I didn't, but I never, and I repeat never, ever pissed in your steam iron.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 31 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death Proof (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
(uncredited)
Written by Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Performed by The Shirelles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Awesome
14 March 2002 | by mijbrilSee 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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