Big Wednesday (1978)
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as Leroy Smith
as Matt Johnson
as Jack Barlow
as Peggy Gordon
as Mrs. Barlow
as Shopping Cart
as Sally's Husband
as Tall Kid
as Party Girl #2
as Party Girl #7
as Surfer #3
as Surfer #5
as Old Man
as Old Woman
as Bride of the Bear
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.
Imparts quintessential elements of the male psyche more persuasively than Milius' other gung-ho action pictures
Audience Reviews for Big Wednesday
This film's not just about surfin' but about life - it's only while you are young when you can ride the waves, and time to go back to the land (to be mature) comes to everybody. It's also about men's friendship, love to women, and of course above all, the wave as the symbol of our dream. This is the film that has never-fading soul.
Kind of an "American Graffiti" only instead of cruising and cars, it's the beach and surfing on the cusp of the Vietnam War arriving and changing everything. A shaggy dog, to be sure, with awkward story pacing and flat acting here and there (and the Tijuana sequence I think was solely written so the cast and crew could go to Tijuana on the studio's dime). BUT. A lot of heart went into this and the surfing sequences are nicely done. Also nice to see these three actors so early in their careers (Robert Englund also has a supporting role, pre-"Freddy"). Definitely a fine first effort from John Milius directing his own screenplay.
Typical coming of age nostalgia film elevated by a compelling look at surfer culture and that crazy Gary Busey.
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