HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Big Wednesday All Summer LongBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: John Milius
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey, Patti D'Arbanville, Lee Purcell, Sam Melville, Darrell Fetty, Gerry Lopez, Hank Worden, Joe Spinell, Barbara Hale, Steve Kanaly, Fran Ryan, Dennis Aaberg, Reb Brown, Robert Englund, Frank McRae
Genre: Drama, Action
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in 1962, there were three friends who had found their perfect pasttime: surfing on Californian beaches. Whatever happened to them from that point on, the surfing would be the one constant in their lives, even when their relationships were tested. Take that day back in '62 when Matt Johnson (Jan-Michael Vincent) was still wasted on booze after the night before, something that was not an isolated incident, and Jack (William Katt) and Leroy (Gary Busey) practically dragged him to the shore that morning and found a surfboard for him to use. The sensation of getting him into the sea was enough to wake Matt up and make him feel all was right again...

When you're discussing surfer movies, it's often the documentaries which come up as being the best, simply because they tend to fit in as much footage of the sport into their running times as possible, and dispense with such things as plotlines which might get in the way. Therefore Endless Summer and Riding Giants equal good, Gidget and Blue Crush not quite as satisfying to the adherents. However, if there was one fictional movie which seemed to take surfing with just the right level of seriousness, then it was Big Wednesday, which appealed to the activity's followers while seeming significant to the non-practioners.

But when you actually watch it now, you might be disappointed to see that the surfing mainly takes up the last twenty minutes of a two hour film, and for most of the rest of it there is a lot of emotional weight to wade through before you get your reward. It is thought of by some as the crowning achievement of writer and director John Milus' career, but that's as much to say the production brought out his weakenesses as much as his strengths, as for every neatly observed character item, there was a heavy and portentous stretch of drama that was too ponderous for the film's good. Milius was a surfer himself, so if nothing else the tone is never less than convincing, it's just those characters he chose to populate it with never take off and fly.

Everybody looks the part, with the three leads all very tanned and toned, even if Katt is forced to don a terrible blond wig when his hair is meant to have been cut, and that 'tache in the latter stages doesn't do him any favours either. We follow Matt, Jack and Leroy (known as Masochist for his crazy behaviour) from their innocent days in the early sixties to their inevitable loss of that innocence as the years roll by, all set out in the form of four seasons, linked to the four "swells" that the tides are connected to. From early on you might not be too sure if you're warming to these young men or not, as they get up to supposedly endearing rambunctiousness which veers threateningly close to obnoxiousness.

But all that brawling and macho high spirits are there to contrast with the scenes where they're brought down to earth, such as when Matt's girlfriend Peggy (Lee Purcell) announces she's pregnant, or when they get their draft notices in the mid-sixties and either think up ways to dodge their tour of duty in Vietnam or as Jack does, go through with it and emerge from the other side a changed man. Except he's not that much changed, he's still a bit of a prig. Matt in the meantime struggles with alcoholism and the passage of time makes them all yesterday's men, but what we're meant to perceive is that they will always have the sea, no matter how far from each other they drift. This leads up to the climax of the film, but as there has been too much of a tangential link to the surfing up to that point, in spite of us being led to believe it's the focus, that splendid, exultant surfing footage does come out of the blue to an extent. Yet you cannot fault Milius's mastery of his storytelling, even if he allowed the likeability of the main trio to fall away too often. Music by Basil Poledouris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2050 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: