Big Wednesday (1978)
Jan-Michael Vincent plays a self-destructive beach bum to whom surfing is a Zen experience. We first meet Vincent in the devil-may-care 1960s, in the company of his carefree buddies William Katt and Gary Busey. The boys reunite ten years later, after one has served time in Vietnam. The beach is still there, the waves still break upon the shore, and towards the end of the film, the characters become people that we truly care about. Barbara Hale, the real-life mother of costar William Katt, makes a piquant supporting appearance. Cut from 129 minutes to 104 for its pay-cable release, Big Wednesday is also known as Summer of Innocence. … More
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Critic Reviews for Big Wednesday
[VIDEO ESSAY] Milius constantly revisits the ocean's churning surf as a literal and metaphoric yardstick to underscore the movie's themes of personal responsibility, loyalty, and the pressures of unpredictable social change.
Ambitious in goal, John Millius' tale suffers from an inconsistent tone, trying to be elegiac, nostalgic, and mythical in depicting the impact of Vietnam and aging on a clique of three surfers between 1962 and 1974 but the acting and imagery are good.
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