A rubber stamp wouldn’t do for John Milius. So he took a sledgehammer and pounded Important all over “Big Wednesday.” This film about three Malibu surfers in the 1960s has been branded major statement and it’s got Big Ideas about adolescence, friendship and the 1960s.
“Big Wednesday” has a character named Bear, a combination John Milius-Ernest Hemingway, played by Sam Melville. He is described this way: ‘He knew where the waves came from and why’. Really.
But Melville is a secondary character. The film revolves around three friends, Jan-Michael Vincent, William Katt and Gary Busey. Each is a noted surfer with Vincent something of a legend. Their life is surfing, but man – not even boy – can not live by salt water alone. So they grow up, awkwardly.
The movie is divided into four movements with each section moving ahead a few years. It climaxes at the final segment, “Big Wednesday,” when the surf has swelled to unknown proportions and the three reunite as men to again conquer the ocean.