Big screen classics

Big Wednesday

A coming-of-age epic set in the surfing world of Southern California of the 60s and 70s.

Image from Big Wednesday

USA 1978
Dir John Milius
With Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt, Gary Busey, Patti D’Arbanville
120min
35mm
Certificate PG
A BFI National Archive print

John Milius’s partly autobiographical account of surfing the Southern California waves of history from 1962 to 1974 may sometimes feel a little portentous and overly heroic, but it’s also a heartfelt, funny, anarchic and affecting tribute to the benefits (and occasional downsides ) of friendship. A coming-of-age epic that’s now achieved cult status, it’s at once rowdy and romantic, philosophical and fascinated by physical prowess.