Thursday, April 7, 2016
Big Wednesday (1978) ***1/2
John Milius's 1978 surfing epic Big Wednesday is a forgotten gem from the late 1970s. Those who know Milus's work, mostly violent militaristic films like Red Dawn, will be surprised at his sensitive portrait of 1960s California surfing culture. The film stars Jan Michael-Vincent, Gary Busey, William Katt as three legendary surfers who must face the reality of growing up and the challenges of the outside world, namely the Vietnam War. Milius drew upon mythology and John Ford pictures to further his theme on the passage of time. The performances are authentic and the surfing footage is pretty awesome. Time and place are masterfully evoked. Big Wednesday is all heart and soul.