American GraffitiDirector: George Lucas,
It's the last night of summer 1962, and the teenagers of Modesto, California, want to have some fun before adult responsibilities close in. Among them are Steve (Ron Howard) and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), college-bound with mixed feelings about leaving home; nerdy Terry "The Toad" (Charles Martin Smith), who scores a dream date with blonde Debbie (Candy Clark); and John (Paul Le Mat ), a 22-year-old drag racer who wonders how much longer he can stay champion and how he got stuck with 13-year-old Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) in his deuce coupe. As D. J. Wolfman Jack spins 41 vintage tunes on the radio throughout the night, Steve ponders a future with girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt chases a mystery blonde, Terry tries to act cool, and Paul prepares for a race against Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), but nothing can stop the next day from coming, and with it the vastly different future ushered in by the 1960s. Fresh off The Godfather (1972), producer Francis Ford Coppola had the clout to get his friend George Lucas's project made, but only for $750,000 on a 28-day shooting schedule. Despite technical obstacles, and having to shoot at night, cinematographer Haskell Wexler gave the film the neon-lit aura that Lucas wanted, evoking the authentic look of a suburban strip to go with the authentic sound of rock-n-roll. Universal, which wanted to call the film Another Slow Night in Modesto, thought it was unreleasable. But Lucas' period detail, co-writers Willard Huyck's and Gloria Katz's realistic dialogue, and the film's nostalgia for the pre-Vietnam years apparently appealed to a 1973 audience embroiled in cultural chaos: American Graffiti became the third most popular movie of 1973 (after The Exorcist and The Sting), establishing the reputations of Lucas (whose next film would be Star Wars) and his young cast, and furthering the onset of soundtrack-driven, youth-oriented movies. Although the film helped spark 1970s nostalgia for the 1950s, nothing else would capture the flavor of the era with the same humorous candor and latent sense of foreboding.
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- Original Release:
- Universal Studios
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Cast & Crew
|Dennis Clark||Art Director|
|Francis Ford Coppola||Producer|
|Douglas Freeman||Set Decoration/Design|
|Ned Kopp||Asst. Director|
|Albert J. Locatelli||Production Designer|
|Walter Murch||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Art Rochester||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Aggie Guerard Rodgers||Costumes/Costume Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A wonderfully nostalgic look at the early 60's. The street scenes are perfect and the music is a great compilation of that era's sound. The characters really ring true for that time.
What more could you want? This movie has it all, an astounding cast of actors, a great story, cool cars, and an awesome soundtrack. This movie is right on the mark about a time when young men and women could have fun cruising around town and going on adventures. George Lucas certainly has done a great job with Star Wars however this movie in my opinion has been his best work to date. It's one of the movies you hope no one ever comes along and wants to remake. I mean come on, after watching this film, who didn't want to be John Milner or Bob Falfa? James Dean doesn't have anything on Paul LeMat and Harrison Ford. This movie is a must watch for all your teenagers.
I just watched this the other night on TV and I thought the movie was great! I went out right away and bought it.
I am a 2007 high school graduate. After watching this movie, I wish I had graduated 45 years earlier. It looks like people actually hung out with their friends and didn't waste their time with Nintendo, cell phones and computers. Unlike other movies, the plot is not complicated, there are not a lot of characters, there is no violence. Its just a flat-out good movie. Don't know how to explain it. You're just gonna have to watch and see for yourself. Knocks the snot out of rip-offs such as Superbad and American Pie.
I love this movie! It is a true American classic and without revealing my age, it permits me to go back in time when things were much simpler. I would let the movie run just to hear the music sound track. It is mostly about high school graduates riding around in there cars and having fun on their last night before leaving for living in the real world.