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American Graffiti (1973)

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

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ON DISC
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Steve (as Ronny Howard)
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Terry (as Charlie Martin Smith)
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Joe
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Beau Gentry ...
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Jim Bohan ...
Jana Bellan ...
Deby Celiz ...
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Storyline

It's the proverbial end of the summer 1962 in a small southern California town. It's the evening before best friends and recent high school graduates, Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander, are scheduled to leave town to head to college back east. Curt, who received a lucrative local scholarship, is seen as the promise that their class holds. But Curt is having second thoughts about leaving what Steve basically sees as their dead end town. Curt's beliefs are strengthened when he spots an unknown beautiful blonde in a T-bird who mouths the words "I love you" to him. As Curt tries to find that blonde while trying to get away from a local gang who have him somewhat hostage, Curt may come to a decision about his immediate future. Outgoing class president Steve, on the other hand, wants to leave, despite meaning that he will leave girlfriend, head cheerleader and Curt's sister, Laurie Henderson, behind. Steve and Laurie spend the evening "negotiating" the state of their relationship. Meanwhile... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...is back! [1978 Re-release] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1973 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Another Slow Night in Modesto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$115,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (1978) | (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby System®)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Given the popularity of the film's cars with customizers and hot rodders in the years since its release, their fate immediately after the film is ironic. All were offered for sale in San Francisco newspaper ads; only the '58 Impala (driven by Ron Howard) attracted a buyer, selling for only a few hundred dollars. The yellow Deuce and the white T-bird went unsold, despite being priced as low as US$3,000.[56] The registration plate on Milner's yellow, deuce coupe is THX 138 on a yellow, California license plate, slightly altered, reflecting George Lucas's earlier science fiction film THX 1138 (1971). See more »

Goofs

When the 4-engine DC7 airplane takes off, the sound heard is a 6-engine B-36 (a very distinctive sound). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Terry Fields: Hey, what do you say, Curt? Last night in town... you guys gonna have a little bash before you leave?
Steve Bolander: The Moose have been looking for you all day.
[hands a check to Curt]
Steve Bolander: They got worried... thought you were trying to avoid them or something.
Terry Fields: What is it? What do ya got?
Curt Henderson: Oh, great.
Terry Fields: That's $2,000 man! Two thousand dollars!
Steve Bolander: Mr. Jennings gave it to me to give to you. He says he's sorry it's so late, but it's the first scholarship the Moose Lodge has given out. And he, uh, says they're ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Worded epilogues prior to the credits shows what happen to the characters following the movie. While this has since become commonplace in films, it was considered innovative at the time. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Young, Hot 'n Nasty Teenage Cruisers (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stroll
Written by Clyde Otis and Nancy Lee (uncredited)
The Diamonds'
Courtesy of Mercury Records:
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User Reviews

 
Let's be the way we are not going to be anymore for just one more night!!
11 September 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

American Graffiti was a compilation of pop culture pique, a harbinger of political changes, and the birth of an era that explodes the "Leave it to Beaver America" simply by saying farewell to it!!!...Set in a small town in Southern California, with a bunch of people who's existence in 1962 means the 13th and final year of the fifties, it correlates a cosmic awareness with an innocent societal disagreement.... People are happy, but not happy enough to want to stay the same.... The constant bond throughout the film is Wolfman Jack, the "supercool" disc jockey who creates a thousand different images of himself just by virtue of what he says on the radio...He is illuminating as well as socially influential to a bunch of naive teenagers....The music in this movie is extremely entertaining, as it signifies the end of an Eisenhower style Utopia.. The couples that are paired off in this movie homogenize the attitudes and aspirations of these precocious 1962 teenagers, who are on the verge of growing up!! All of the characters in this film have an imperviousness to the objections related to a perceived totalitarianism brought on in the sixties, not just because the radical aspect of the decade has yet to be, but also, because locking horns with the authority figures is not second nature to them ...(Even Big John Milner)... The bevy of Radicalism which besieges our nation over the remainder of this decade, (the 1960's) created a metamorphosis in social behavior that would change all Americans, even the people living in the town of Graffit, California!!! This movie superbly exemplifies the phrase "The calm before the storm" It gives the entire movie audience a crystal ball concept analysis report that sparks a bittersweet realization and empathy for everyone who plays a significant role in this George Lucas masterpiece!! Director George Lucas has never been better...The cast is sensational!!and the film's unassuming demeanor surprisingly captures the honor of being one of America's greatest films on record!!! Five stars!! No question!!


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