7.3/10
5,156
61 user 38 critic

Big Wednesday (1978)

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

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Matt Johnson
... Jack Barlow
... Leroy Smith
... Sally Jacobson
... Peggy Gordon
... Bear
... Jim 'Waxer' King
... 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:

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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1978 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Summer of Innocence  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Australian champion surfers Peter Townsend and Ian Cairns doubled for William Katt and Gary Busey in the surfing sequences. 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

Leroy the Masochist: More beer!
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Connections

Referenced in Basil Poledouris: His Life and Music (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

She Wears My Ring
(uncredited)
Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant
Heard as background theme
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Man's Surfing Film?
17 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

The lives of some California surfers from the early '60s to the '70s.

Who should have been cast: Jan-Michael Vincent or Jeff Bridges? Well, in retrospect, Bridges might have drawn more acclaim to this picture. But Vincent nails the role, and although not as big of a name, he was the man for the job.

John Milius is known for his conservative, manly films. This does not really mesh with the idea of the surfer, at least until you see this film. Then you understand that the surfer - to Milius - is a libertarian at heart, fighting against the "lifeguard state".

The film features great music, great fights, and a nice cameo from a then-unknown Robert Englund. And heck, this is Gary Busey in his prime.

Interestingly, because the film takes place during the Vietnam War, this acts like something as a counterpoint to "Apocalypse Now", another Milius film. What message are we to get from the two combined?


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