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Big Wednesday 1978

PG CC

Academy Award-nominee Gary Busey ("Under Siege," "The Firm") stars in a story of three young surfers searching for meaning as their lives change in the '60s and '70s.

Starring:
Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt
Runtime:
1 hour, 59 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Drama
Director John Milius
Starring Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt
Supporting actors Gary Busey, Patti D'Arbanville, Lee Purcell, Sam Melville, Darrell Fetty, Gerry Lopez, Hank Worden, Joe Spinell, Steve Kanaly, Barbara Hale, Fran Ryan, Dennis Aaberg, Reb Brown, Robert Englund, Keith Davis, Johnny Fain, Rick Dano, Michael Talbott
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on May 28, 2002
Format: DVD
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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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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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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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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By A Customer on November 17, 1999
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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