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Big Wednesday (1978)

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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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Director: John Milius
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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:

Three friends. Twelve Turbulent Years. And One Day We All Must 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:

3 October 1978 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Summer of Innocence 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

Tom Berenger auditioned for the part of Jack Barlowe. See more »

Goofs

During the 1962 party at Jack's house, his mother is reading the book 'Catch-22', a book first published in 1961. However, the copy she is reading is an edition that had not yet been printed. The photo of author Joseph Heller on the back of the jacket is clearly from years later than 1962. See more »

Quotes

Narrator, Fly: Stay casual, Barlow.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in The Making of '1941' (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Now or Never
(uncredited)
Based on "O Sole Mio"
Lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
Music by Eduardo Di Capua
Heard as a piano piece in the background
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Top five movie music - take a bow Basil
20 October 2005 | by john-sellersSee all my reviews

What is it about Big Wednesday that inspires so much affection? I won't repeat the many tributes that have been made here, and yes, I was a surfer, and yes, this is in my top five of all time movies, and yes, I watch it about once every eighteen months.

But something others don't seem to mention much is the perfect score that Basil Poledouris wrote for the movie, sound which echoes and complements the action throughout, and reminds me strongly of artists and music of the time like Jack Nitzches "Lonely Surfer", and "Beyond the Break". Not, for heaven's sake, the Beach Boys or Jan and Dean.

But isn't that a big part of good movies? When music, image and story all combine? (Discuss)

The other four of my five are "Andrei Rublev", "If..." "The Piano" "Journey to the Center of the Earth"


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