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American Graffiti (1973)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 August 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 60,232 users  
Reviews: 236 user | 96 critic

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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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


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: back! [1978 Re-release] See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 August 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Američki grafiti  »

Box Office


$777,000 (estimated)


$115,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-release) (1978)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Lucas:  [THX 1138]  License plate on John Milner's car is "THX-138". THX 1138 (1971) is a film also directed by George Lucas. This number plate is on display inside 'The Main House' of LucasFilm's Head Office at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. See more »


When Carol is on the hood of the car being shaving-creamed, she covers the front windshield with shaving cream and jumps off, but as she runs around the car, there's no shaving cream anywhere on it. See more »


[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 ...
See more »

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 »


Referenced in MythBusters: Hollywood on Trial (2005) See more »


I Only Have Eyes for You
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by The Flamingos
Courtesy of Roulette Records
See more »

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User Reviews

The Best Teen Film Ever Made.
30 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

"I just love it when guys peel out." -Debbie Dunham

American Graffiti is the best film about teenagers. It actually has a point, unlike the other teenage films where all that they do is get drunk and party. American Graffiti is about different types of teenagers doing different things on the last night that they all have together in 1962 after graduating. They all actually learn about themselves and what they want to do with their lives. One of the older

teenagers, Curt, is planning on leaving the next day. Steve is trying to work out his relationship with Curt's sister, while John and Terry have their own dates for the night. American Graffiti is a wonderful film on many levels. It is both funny and serious. A great direction by George Lucas and a fine cast with Ron

Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith,

Candy Clark (Oscar-nominated), MacKenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford. One of the

best films of the 70's and the only teen film in my memory that has had the

pleasure of being nominated for Oscar- Best Picture. 10/10 stars.

51 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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