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Big Wednesday (1978)

Jan-Michael Vincent , William Katt , John Milius  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

Price: $21.33 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey, Patti D'Arbanville, Lee Purcell
  • Directors: John Milius
  • Writers: John Milius, Dennis Aaberg, Joel Chernoff
  • Producers: Alexandra Rose, Buzz Feitshans, Greg MacGillivray, Tamara Asseyev
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000648ZP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,010 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Big Wednesday" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

No matter what rolls in on the tides of time, California surfing buddies Matt, Jack, and Leroy know they'll stick together. And, they know they'll be ready when a rare 20-foot swell hits the coast at last.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DANGEROUS UNDERCURRENTS May 28, 2002
John ("Conan the Barbarian") Milius wrote and directed this underrated, but significant beach movie that is much more than first meets the eye.
What is most memorable is the terrific second unit big wave cinematography by famed Imax and surf photgrapher Greg MacGillivray. But the undercurrent (no pun intended) is a troubling tale that grew from Milius' memories about his own surfer buddy friendships on the day -- a big Wednesday -- when Watts was going up in flames and the surf was peaking.
Almost a great film that in retrospect was far and away more prescient than given credit at the time. Jan Michael Vincent, Gary Busey and William katt are perfect as the friends seeking meaning and purpose as they move through ten turbulent years starting in the mid-60s.
This title, like Monte Hellman's "Two Lane Blacktop" and Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider" is a legendary film with a devoted cult following that looks at a specific time in America through the eyes of lost innocence.
"Big Wednesday" is finally available in a pristine widescreen DVD transfer with an insightful, witty, and at times almost poetic commentary by writer director Milius.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true cult classic for surfers July 5, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
At the risk of sounding like a total pot-smoking burn out type who sits around all summer and eats cheetos and plays Nintendo I have to start out this review with a very loud and resounding "This movie rules!". Anyway if you are a surfer and are interested in a bit of history on a fictional level about some of the pioneers of the sport then this is the movie to see. Because this movie is unlike any of the other surf movies out there I can't really compare it to them in terms of whether or not it was better than them or not. It's in a class all it's own. From the first rate story-line to the spectacular big wave scenes at the end (spectacular for it's day that is), this movie holds much nostalgia from the 60's surf era. If you wanna go back in time a few decades for a couple of hours and get caught up in what it was like to be part of the surf scene "back in the day" then this is the movie to see. From the old wine cooler beach parties late into the night to the trips down the California coast to Tijuana searching for the right surf conditions this movie captures it all and freezes it in a time capsule in the from of a two hour cinematic documentry of sorts. Two thumbs up and then some is all I can say to end this review.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SURF MOVIE OF THE CENTURY! January 3, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is regarded as a surf classic and rightly so. Slickly produced, consisting of a series of vignettes over 13 years it gives a non-surfing person a revealing insight into the surf culture. The still-thorny issue of the Vietnam War is dealt with and the transition from the swinging sixties into the seventies is handled very well (a technique John Milius perfected in his 1983 classic Uncommon Valor which incidentally pre-dated the much hyped Rambo First Blood II by nearly two years). The climax of the film is the surf footage at the end depicting the legendary day of a lifetime, Big Wednesday. The only negative is the thought that the two stars, Jan Michael Vincent and Gary Busey threw away their lives after this movie due to drug addiction (Busey almost died from an overdose in 1994). Another negative is that some of the surfing terminology in the book didn't make it to the film. In the book, the car is referred to as "The Makeshift" - it isn't in the film. Still, if you cast these things out of your mind for 100 minutes you will experience something truly special. You won't be disappointed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the greatest movie ever November 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Words cannot adequately describe the emotional tug that this movie does to the heart. Growing up in a small coastal town in Southern California during the 60's is epitomized in this movie. Friendship, Vietnam, Surfing, Party Crashers, weekends in Tijuana, Friends gone off the edge - man, it's so well depicted and so accurate. This is Jan Michael Vincent's best work ever and he did it shortly before he lost control of his life through his addictions - the guy was an unbelievable actor! I know him through friends and as a young man he was notoriously sought after by hordes of women and was a phenomenal natural athelete. You've gotta get this movie!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surfers Love it Everywhere January 14, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie symbolizes the best time in every surfers life. The times when all you lived for was the biggest wave, the perfect wave, the empty wave. How many of us go out surfing and get flashbacks of all those good times when life was free and easy? The most important aspects of this movie is that no matter how much the circumstances of your life may change you can always head back to the surf to gain the inner strength and unspoken sense of of satisfaction which reminds you of just why we are on this planet, for friendship and the worlds natural wonders. This movie re-enforced the belief of standing by your mates and when it's time charge, don't hold back, a great movie and unreal surfing sequences for it's time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC March 3, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The Muhammad Ali of surf films, this is the film which took surfing into the mainstream. Deeply moving and at times painfully nostalgic, this film chronicles the pleasure and pain of growing up. Consisting of four interconnected vignettes set at various times during the 1960s and 70s this film uses the surfing theme as a backdrop weaving between the bobbysox era, the Vietnam War (long before it became fashionable) and climaxing in the Big Wednesday which gives the film its title. The surfing footage is nothing short of spectacular, a triumph of film making. It is impossible to be unchanged after watching Big Wednesday, a film which has reached legendary status and which represented Jan Michael Vincent and Gary Busey's finest on-screen performances. The Bear logo used in the film was spun off into a successful surfing partnership making surfboards and other products and which sponsored the Big Wednesday 20th anniversary celebrations in 1998 (see [...] If you only ever see one surfing film it has to be this one. It is the surfing genre's finest hour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Cool movie...
Published 2 days ago by Jolip
3.0 out of 5 stars Let's go surfing now
It is a great movie lots of names and the surfing is very awesome bro ...
Published 17 days ago by Kevin Campbell
1.0 out of 5 stars I was very excited to get this movie, but ...
I was very excited to get this movie,but when I put it in my dvd player it said error please remove disc.This dvd does not work in this zone. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Mary L Hammond
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately the dvd had a European region code and was ...
Unfortunately the dvd had a European region code and was not usable in the US so I was forced to return it.
Published 19 days ago by shannon young
2.0 out of 5 stars scratched
love the movie, pretty upset that it was scratched right out of the container, movie plays for 46min and then stops
Published 23 days ago by Tory Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic movie, brings you back to your youth and ...
fantastic movie ,brings you back to your youth and seeing at the movies with all your friends sawit 3 or three times
Published 1 month ago by caroline gradwell
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Like Visiting Old Friends!
Growing up in So. California in the 1960's this move stirred my many memories, especially not having an ounce of fat on the belly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by Mark Lapinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good. Surfing scenes were amazing.
Published 1 month ago by Jeanne Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice surf when its there
Sort of a okay film with some nice filming. Storyline is lacking and characters do not have substance. Sort of an effort to ride the wave of surf films popular back then. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Raymond Cannefax
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