7.5/10
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243 user 102 critic

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 ...
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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

Mel's Drive-In was demolished after the movie was completed, but the owner's son, Steve, decided to re-open other Mel's restaurants in 1981 as a small chain. There are two in Hollywood, CA, themed after the movie, and one in San Francisco where George Lucas is known to eat occasionally. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene Curt walks toward the airplane's open door to board while the number one engine (left outboard) is starting up. In real life, a pilot would never start an engine on the boarding side with a door still open and passengers behind a running engine. 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

At the start of the closing credits, the character and actor names for the main characters randomly appear in time to the opening xylophone notes of the Beach Boys' All Summer Long, which continues to play over the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Cruisin' 57 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Written by Frankie Lymon and Morris Levy (uncredited)
Frankie Lymon
Courtesy of Roulette Records:
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User Reviews

The American Garden
5 August 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

The summer of 1962, for these four Youths, it's the closest they will ever get to the Garden of Eden. The music, the cars, the drinking, the dancing, and the innocence, American Graffiti is a harder film to make than Star Wars. To identify with the generation and to create truth from the characters, George Lucas's masterpiece is American Graffiti. From the town Big shot, the future Race car Driver, the Perfect Couple, and the local Nerd, it is amazing how the audience identifies with all these characters from out past. Like a page out of the high school year book, this movie jumps back into the early 60's, before the war, before the lines were drawn, the age of innocence in America would soon be coming to an end. This is the last party of the summer before the dream finally ends.


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