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“Big Wednesday” is one of those movies that has a cult aura around it. I’m not talking about the kind of movies that get supported by lame fandoms that push the same twenty films on every generation of film fans. Bolstered by an early amazing score from Basil Poledouris, Big Wednesday hits big notes for its two hour duration. There is no hidden truth to the surfers that we study over 12 years of their life. What we have are three stunning archetypes supported by narration from Robert Englund (aka Frederick Krueger).

Coming off his hit work on the earlier Dirty Harry movies and The Wind and the Lion, WB kinda owed Milius a film. He helped script Apocalypse Now and his USC friends were starting to blow up. Now was the time to see if the bearded one could reinvent the surfer movie. Well, he did and he got lambasted for it. I feel that the root of the issue lays within the needs that were presented in 70s cinema. It was an adult time, even after the age of the blockbusters slowly began.

Audiences wanted to know every motivation of characters and feel something about their inner workings. Showing three men go through shared communal changes and emerge as different people didn’t work then as it does now. Hell, most of America spends its time watching young men and women spend years barely moving the marker in their personal growth. The kicker is that I probably still couldn’t get any of them to watch the film.

All things considered, what will sell the film to the indifferent masses is the stunning surf action. All of the actors had doubles that were among the best surfers of the time. It’s just that until the HD era, I never could see how apparent many of the surfer stand-ins were during full shots. It’s a movie from a different generation, but it’s neat to see Gary Busey looking amazing. Check out one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films today.


  • Commentary
  • Retrospective Documentary
  • Trailer


  • 2.40:1 1080p transfer
  • DTS-HD 2.0 MONO


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