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Big Wednesday 1978 Subtitles

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4.7 out of 5 stars (46) IMDb 7.3/10
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Jan-Michael Vincent plays a self-destructive beach bum to whom surfing is a Zen experience. We first meet Vincent in the devil-may-care 1960s, in the company of his carefree buddies William Katt and Gary Busey. The boys reunite ten years later, after one has served time in Vietnam. The beach is still there, the waves still break upon the shore, and towards the end of the film, the characters become people that we truly care about. Barbara Hale, the real-life mother of costar William Katt, makes a piquant supporting appearance. Cut from 129 minutes to 104 for its pay-cable release, Big Wednesday is also known as Summer of Innocence.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Sam Melville, Patti D'Arbanville
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 54 minutes
Starring Sam Melville, Patti D'Arbanville, William Katt, Jan-Michael Vincent, Lee Purcell, Joe Spi, Joe Spinell, Robert Englund, Gary Busey
Director John Milius
Genres Thriller
Studio WARNER HOME VIDEO
Rental release 26 May 2003
Main languages English
Dubbing Italian, French
Subtitles Dutch, German, Spanish, English, Italian, Romanian, French
Hearing impaired subtitles English, Italian

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This is a breathtaking film from start to finish, be it the boisterous parties that the stars attend, the trip to Tijuana, or the beautiful footage of the ocean and the surfers.
Jan Michael Vincent pulls at your heart strings as the immature alcoholic Matt Johnson who manages to find peace within himself and with his friends, whilst growing up on the beach, and he is ably asisted by Gary Busey and William Katt who star as his chalk and cheese surf buddies.
A movie about growing up, taking responsibilities and the tragedy of war, all set to a beautiful back drop of sandy beaches and glorius ocean waves, and an impressive soundtrack.
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Format: DVD
With the backdrop of incredible surfing scenes, comes the story of 3 guys growing up under the uneasy shadow of the Vietnam war. But life throws up it's own set of problems and hard decisions for the lads to take. And the escape is the water, the swell and the search for the perfect wave. The complexity of the different personalities lends an endearing quality to the whole production and come the end, the magnaninous end, we were all choking for breath. The thumping soundtrack of classic sixties tracks rams it all home of course.
Coming forward to present times, it hasn't gotten any easier. And this wonderful film reminds you that life's a beach, a VW Camper, a board and beer. Enjoy.
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By A Customer on 30 May 2003
Format: DVD
For a 25 year old movie this stands up pretty well. It starts off all a bit rose tinted, but goes darker as the main character's paths split, with only their shared love of surfing providing a link to each other.
The cast fit the parts well. Jan Michael Vincent (more famous for his pertually squinting Stringfellow Hawk from Airwolf) is the most talented surfer of the three, but nearly throws it all away to alchohol addiction (not totally removed from real life then).
Gary Busey is the other draft dodger who ends up a drug dealer (which nicely counterparts his role in that other classic surfer movie, Point Break), with the third guy (forget his name) going to vietnam and returning as a war hero.
Overall it's a nice movie showing the friendship between three surfing buddies and how it evolves. And some old school surfing. Recommended.
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By Siriam TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
When I first saw this film on release in 1978, many of the critics had panned it with several observing that it was only interesting when in the water, given surfing is its main excitement and the movie subsequently bombed. Looked at again 30 years later (I have in fact seen it several times in between given the cult status it enjoys in UK fringe cinemas), the film's time horizon of mid 1960s to early 1970s following a surfing mad group growing up is nowhere as bad as those critics may have indicated.

Named after the fact that most big surfing swells over the years have occurred on Wednesday, the film by using the surfing culture provides an excellent snapshot of a group of Californian teenagers maturing across the late 1960s and facing up to their changing responsibilities, with its keen observations along the way on the tension with the later hippy movement and the indirect impact of the Vietnam War and its draft on people's lives.

None of the three lead actors (two actual surfers and Gary Busey as the "Masochist" in gonzo mode) were going to be Oscar contenders based on this outing but what makes the performances succeed is the quality of the ensemble playing. The director co-written script given John Milius's other writing credits is a bit clunky in parts (especially the lead personal relationships and the father figure of "Bear"), but since Milius was a surfer from a very young age, he admits in the recent interview included in this Anniversary DVD that it is a very personal movie and an amalgam of many different characters he knew from those days.

Sure the film's surfing scenes still look fantastic 30 years on, especially in widescreen format.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Even if you're not into surfing, you'll find Big Wednesday a treat. Its ambience is almost a stripped down American Graffiti, also dealing in that film's nostalgia but presenting a more moving, tighter story. Shot through the nostalgia is an elegiac voiceover and grace notes such as the surfing hero of the previous decade becoming forgotten by the present crop of Surfers. It's not downbeat though with a witty truth to the writing and a livewire Gary Busey performance. Events begin to pull friendships apart and Vietnam interrupts the freewheeling lives, the only hope to rekindle youthful spirit and vigour is the dream of the ultimate wave ... the Big Wednesday.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is a classic especially if you are a fan of surfing. It's a coming of age movie for three young men living under the threat of the Vietnam war. The acting is great, the story line fast paced and you will feel every emotion under the sun through the duration.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great Great film, I saw this way back in the seventies, its very underrated as a film, its just a great story of life and Surfing and how life happens to people
It is one of the best films of all time in my opinion
Its just great
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