Big Wednesday details
|Starring:||Lee Purcell, Joe Spinell, Patti D'Arbanville, Robert Englund, Sam Melville, Gary Busey, Jan-Michael Vincent, Joe Spi, William Katt|
|Studio:||WARNER HOME VIDEO|
|Run time:||1 hour 54 minutes|
|Rental release:||26 May 2003|
Most helpful review
It's 70's and it's AmericanBy SimmyMartin from W Yorks , 21 Jan 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]The finest surfing flick ever made, the finest rights of passage film ever made, the finest era of American film. What can I say? The leads are cool, the message is good, the music is perfect and the girls are beautiful. Spot a very young Robert Englund. Makes you wonder why William Katt didn't go on to better things. If it's 70's and it's American it's OK with me.
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Big DisappointmentBy InspectorSands (209 reviews) from London , 05 Jun 2009This is a coming-of-age drama, complete with hokey voiceover intro in style of Stand by Me, about a group of lads growing up in a surfing town in the late 1950s into the 60s.
I gave up after an hour. It's too broadly written for my tastes. In the first half hour there are extended fistfights in the style of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, you half expect a fiddle to be playing in the background. Just one punch could kill someone, but no one has so much as a cut lip. Fight one takes place at a party, where it's already established that the long-suffering mum is upstairs rolling her eyes at the loud music. But when it all kicks off downstairs, and someone is thrown through a glass window, she's nowhere to be seen.
The Yanks in it are of the kind Benji meets when he's trying to locate Elaine in the final reel, of The Graduate, you know, the jocks in the shower room. I didnt' relate to them much, unlike say American Graffiti.
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Big WednesdayBy Flimflam (1 review) from Northampton , 05 Jun 2009I've been surfing for years and never seen this film. It is spoken of by many and relates to how the life of surfing has evolved.
Having seen it I can agree this is one of those timeless films that has an important role in shaping our futures. Definatly one to say you've seen.
surprisingly satisfyingBy DrAlupnorth (4 reviews) from Wilmslow , 11 May 2009Having rented this film without any prior knowledge of it, and not having set foot on a surfboard myself, I went into watching it with an open mind. It started very much as a drunken lads adventure, with surf scenes thrown in for good measure. I did start to drift off but it then quickly changed pace and became a very different film, discussing more the intricate relationships between childhood friends and the different paths that lives often take when fate lends a hand. The surfing shots, interspersed with the musical score, set the ambiance well and, although I may still never pick up a surf board in future, it did give me a real sense of the importance of the sport as a whole and the impact that it had on each of the characters portrayed
More to it than just surfBy a customer from Glasgow, Scotland , 29 Mar 2009First up, let's say that I've watched this film more than any other in my life. It's certainly not the 'best' film ever, however you want to measure that. And yet, this continues to entertain more than 20 years after I first saw it.
Alex Cox, on BBC2's Moviedrome, first introduced me to this film and some of what he said stuck. Gary Busey taught himself to swim and surf for this part; William Katt's (Jack) mother was played by his own real-life mother (adds a dimension to the party scenes!); director John Milius was a surfer and even includes a photo of himself in the opening montage.
The real point though is that this is not just a surfing movie. Much of its look and feel owes more to the western genre, particularly as the ageing gunslingers return to the beach for the final showdown. Even the angle of the camera emphasises the boards slung under their arms. It can't be coincidence that Bruce Surtees, a truly excellent director of photography, has directed photography in some of the best westerns of the seventies (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales and the lesser but significant The Shootist). Oh, and by the way, Hank Worden (Shopping Cart) was in the ultimate western, The Searchers.
Yes, the acting is not always great, the script can make you squirm sometimes, it can be overtly sentimental and worrying in its politics (but then Milius is extreme - just watch Red Dawn!). But somehow this remains a fantastic film of its time. And as Alex Cox said, it is Milius's American Graffiti. It's seventies and it's great!
for once, an empathetic surfing movieBy a customer from UK , 23 Sep 2008More a right of passage film than a surfing film, it's nonetheless awesome. I grew up there - and only about 10 yrs later - and this captures the feeling of the waves, the coast, the life, the parties, everything - perfectly. But the way the director captured them in the water, you can really feel being out there. A lot of Point Break was bogus and Blue Juice was an aweful and clueless attempt to rip-off this beautiful film but this was beautiful - I haven't seen a lovlier surf film yet.