After making the AIP crime film Dillinger (1973) and the sprawling adventure film The Wind and The Lion (1975), Writer-Director John Milius returned to his personal roots and wrote/directed the 1978 surfing epic Big Wednesday. The film tells the coming of age tale of three friends Matt (Jan Michael Vincent) Leroy (Gary Busey) and Jack (William Katt) and the ups and downs of their lives while riding the waves in Southern California from the early 60s to the Vietnam War years. John Milius was himself a surfer and his attention to the detail of the era makes the movie all the more genuine. The film features a wonderful score by Basil Poledouris which ranges from quiet introspective acoustic ballads to booming orchestra tracks that convey the gargantuan power of the waves the friends ride together. The surfing sequences are beautifully shot and even if you haven’t ripped the curl you can’t help but see the incredible exhilaration it creates.
Update: A BluRay was released by Warner Archive in September of 2018