Big Wednesday

Overview

Warner Brothers' DVD edition of Big Wednesday serves up this John Milius epic in a suitably attractive edition that throws in a few nice bonuses to sweeten the deal. The disc's letterboxed anamorphic transfer captures the film's expansive 2.35:1 scope and further benefits from a handsome remastering job that brings out all the lush color and epic sweep of Bruce Surtee's cinematography. In terms of audio, Big Wednesday offers a nice Dolby Surround soundtrack as well as a French-language mono soundtrack. The extras...
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Overview

Warner Brothers' DVD edition of Big Wednesday serves up this John Milius epic in a suitably attractive edition that throws in a few nice bonuses to sweeten the deal. The disc's letterboxed anamorphic transfer captures the film's expansive 2.35:1 scope and further benefits from a handsome remastering job that brings out all the lush color and epic sweep of Bruce Surtee's cinematography. In terms of audio, Big Wednesday offers a nice Dolby Surround soundtrack as well as a French-language mono soundtrack. The extras are limited but mostly worthwhile: the cast and crew filmographys are disappointingly skimpy but an interesting theatrical trailer shows what a hard sell this complex drama must have been. The disc also offers a commentary track by John Milius: he recorded this track alone, so it suffers from occasional gaps of silence and some rambling that might have been curtailed if there had been a moderator to keep things on track. That said, this commentary is well worth the time for the film's fans because Milius offers up several interesting bits of background info, including how the film's autobiographically-tinged story began its life as a novel and the technical challenges involved in shooting the film's stunning surfing sequences. All in all, this modestly-priced DVD of Big Wednesday offers a great way for both fans and neophytes to enjoy this underrated cult favorite on home video.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Feature-length audio commentary by director/co-writer John Milius; Interactive menus ; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français, Español, and Português
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Film fans accustomed to typical John Milius fare like Conan The Barbarian and Red Dawn might find themselves confounded by this action-less drama, but it is well worth sticking with because it is the most personal and moving effort in his filmography. Despite its dramatic nature, Big Wednesday manages to be as grand as any of Milius' action films because it applies an epic sense of scope to what is essentially an intimate coming-of-age tale. It's a risky choice but Milius makes it work because he uses this epic richness to bring a grandeur to the lives of the characters that brings its themes of bravery , loyalty and personal honor into sharp focus: the world may change and it may wreak changes upon the film's young heroes, but their belief in these principles helps them to ride out the tumultuous twists and turns of adulthood. Milius is ably aided in this aim by dazzling work from his behind-the-camera crew, especially the gorgeous, sun-kissed cinematography by Bruce Surtees and a heart-tugging yet heroic musical score by Basil Poledouris. Big Wednesday's appeal is cemented by the perceptive and sensitive performances of its three leads: Gary Busey tempers his usual wild antics with a palpable sense of loneliness, William Katt turns in a subtle but dramatically rich performance as the most responsible member of the group and Jan Michael Vincent gives the film its heart with his stunning turn as the best and most troubled of the surfers. In short, Big Wednesday is not only John Milius' most ambitious film but also one of the unsung gems of 1970s American cinema. It's straight-faced sincerity and macho tone might not sit well with every viewer but it is well worth a look to any cult film fanatic interested in the best efforts of the 1970s 'movie brat' generation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/9/2002
  • UPC: 085391118220
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jan-Michael Vincent Matt
William Katt Jack
Gary Busey Leroy
Patti D'Arbanville Sally
Lee Purcell Peggy Gordon
Robert Englund Voice Only
Sam Melville Bear
Barbara Hale Mrs. Barlow
Fran Ryan Lucy
Reb Brown Enforcer
Dennis Aaberg Slick
Yvon Arai Boggie
Jack Bernardi Tailor
Rick Dano Panhead
Keith Davis Ostrich
Keith Davis Ostrich
Darrell Fetty Waxer
Gray Fredrickson Doctor
Sasha Jenson Surfer #5
Steve Kanaly Sally's Husband
Celia Kaye Bride of the Bear
Stacy Keach Sr. Old Man
Iris Korn Old Woman
Perry Lang Tall Kid
Todd Lookinland Surfer #3
Gerry Lopez Himself
Frank McRae Sergeant
Stephen Mendillo Orderly
Titus Napoleon Chubby
Ollie O'Toole Minister
Clete Roberts
Arthur Rosenberg Official
Joe Spinell Psychologist
Michael Talbott Hog
Lynn Theel Party Girl #7
Charlene Tilton Party Girl #2
Herb Voland
Hank Worden Shopping Cart
Technical Credits
John Milius Director, Screenwriter
Dennis Aaberg Screenwriter
Tamara Asseyev Executive Producer
Ira Bates Set Decoration/Design
Buzz Feitshans Producer
Richard Hashimoto Asst. Director
Ann Lambert Costumes/Costume Designer
Greg MacGillivray Producer
Dean Edward Mitzner Art Director
C. Timothy O'Meara Editor
Basil Poledouris Score Composer
Harlan Riggs Sound/Sound Designer
Alex Rose Producer
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Bruce Surtees Cinematographer
Joe Unsinn Special Effects
Robert Wolfe Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [2:46]
2. 1962: Hangover Recovery [4:10]
3. Morning Glass Riders [2:50]
4. Bear's Shop [2:42]
5. Star Burger Café [3:48]
6. Jack's Party [4:38]
7. Crashers [5:48]
8. Tijuana [4:00]
9. Bar Fight [5:24]
10. Bear's Lament [1:35]
11. Greetings [3:35]
12. Off the Beach [2:39]
13. Growing Up's Hard [4:06]
14. Wedding Drink and Vows [4:37]
15. Draft Physicals [5:58]
16. Picking on Leroy [4:38]
17. Jack's Lonesome Ride [2:37]
18. Party's Over [4:06]
19. Blasts From the Past [5:55]
20. Liquid Dreams [1:43]
21. Reunions and Waves [5:15]
22. Remembering Waxer [7:18]
23. Selling Things Straight [3:19]
24. Bear Bottoms Out [4:19]
25. Big Wednesday [3:11]
26. Paddling Into the Big One [4:08]
27. Roaring In [4:21]
28. Totally Tubular [2:58]
29. Out of the Depths [4:30]
30. End Credits [2:24]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Cast & Crew
         Gary Busey - Leroy
         Written & Directed by John Milius
      Commentary by John Milius
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Spoken Languages: Français
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Português
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Big Wednesday: A Film About Friendship

    Big Wednesday isn't about big waves or big surfing. It is about friendship. The surfing is the mortar between three friends who grow up, but never really grow apart. The film is about frienships torn through war and the inevitably of growing up. But Big Wednesday tells of friendship transcending all to prevail between those to whom it matters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Small but great

    ''Big Wednesday'' is a small film that pack an emotional wallop. This film has more to do with friendship, loyalty, and adulthood than surfing. The three leads are superb. Jan-Michael Vincent gives a stand-out performance. Gary Busey proves to be an effective scene stealer. William Katt also delivers a solid perfomance. Keep an eye out for a young Robert Englund, before his ''Nightmare on Elm Street'' fame and Steve Kanaly, pre-DALLAS . John Milius direction is excellent. ''Big Wednesday'' gives a realistic portrait of the 60's and 70's and the transition that the characters goes through during this that time period. The production is excellent especially the musical score and cinematography. The climatic surfing scences are the best on film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Real review

    If you surf and you have not seen Big Wednesday, you have cheated yourself out of experiencing one of The truly best Hollywood surfFilms ever made, if not best movies of all time. My own editors note if you watched the movie not all three surfers went to vietnam, but all three rallied to greatness after the war. In closing this movie will bring your heart and your chilhood bewilderment to new levels of wanderlust.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    Big Wednesday is an epic movie

    Finally, a movie that explains surfing from the people who do it: the surfers. This is not your typical Hollywood surfer movie(i.e. Point Break, Gidget Movies). Big Wednesday captures the essence of surfing like no other film,(besides Endless Summer), and lets the viewer into a world that really existed. The movie takes place during the 1970's and gives a glimpse into what it feels like to be a California surfer during that time. Surf scenes are filmed beautifully. If you surf and haven't seen this movie yet, buy a copy now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2000

    Big Wednesday is a Must See

    Big Wednesday is an epic tale of three surfers who surf and drink beer and stuff. It is one heck of an awesome movie. If you liked ''The Endless Summer'' or ''Point Break'' You will love this flick. You must buy ''Big Wednesday''. It is one of the great classic movies of all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews