Drama / Sport
Drama / Sport
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.
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September 11, 2018 at 09:32 PM
I first saw this film in 1978, my father took me to see it with my brothers at the drive-in as a double feature with "Every Which Way But Loose." It's a movie that I have never forgotten. It combines brilliantly heart gripping surfing action, heart wrenching emotions, and heart uplifting humour, all set against the back-drop of the Vietnam War, teenagers growing up, the wisdom of elders (Bear) and of course, the surfing.
I've never surfed a minute of my entire life (although whenever I watch this, I feel like I should), so don't think of this as a "surf movie". It simply is an excellent piece of cinematic history that you will feel you missed on if you never see it.
Recommended with 2 thumbs way way way up.
Classic beyond classic.
Down the street from my house is a restaurant/bar called RT's Longboard grill, which was opened by family as a tribute to a brother lost at sea. Adorning the bamboo laden walls, amongst yesteryear photos, boards, posters, and memorabilia, are TV screens which endlessly show classic surfing movies. The feeling one gets in this environment is similar to what one gets watching Big Wednesday. This isn't a surf movie in the sense of the word. You see, the trendy, infantile children that drunkenly roam the streets of Pacific Beach (where I live in San Diego)for the most part don't have souls, sadly, living in the very town in which many surf legends have been born. Hard pressed to find are the light hearted conversations over a good burger, malt, and a good set of waves. Big Wednesday contains such an epic story. OK... I seem bitter. It's because I am. I know the word "dude" and a nose covered in sunscreen is an easy stereotype... but the spiritual life altering experience behind surfing is most often misunderstood. What is your passion? Do you have one? It may be your children. It may be horses. It may be hockey. But no matter what goes wrong in your life, or who dies or what happens, at the core is your passion (translated : spirituality)... something pure. At the heart of this movie is this purity... and after the draft, relationships, addictions, and just plain adolescent insanity, the characters find that their friendship is still alive because of a common love. Don't try and make too much sense of this review. This isn't a restaurant review. I can't explain the feeling nor would I expect the 95% of America that doesn't live near a surf-able wave to get it...just watch the movie.
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This is a great film. I won't say that everyone would like it, because there is always someone who will hate it. But I love this movie and cannot imagine hating it. I watch it again and again, mostly for Jack who is wonderful in his personality and development. I can't rate this highly enough. The surfing scenes are spectacular, and watching the characters slowly mature and try to cope with life as an adult is always worth watching. Seeing Matt in particular struggle with his unwanted hero status and seeing his friends grow up, move away or die is really something to see. What he would have done without the capable, beautiful, indefatigable Peggy is anyone's guess. However, I must say that you either get it or you don't.