7.5/10
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238 user 98 critic

American Graffiti (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 1 August 1973 (USA)
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 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 ...
...
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:

Where were you in '62? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Američki grafiti  »

Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$115,000,000 (USA)
 »

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

When the rear wheels/axle of Holstein's police car get yanked out by the cable, there is a movie theater in the background. The movie listed on the marquee is Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 (1963). See more »

Goofs

At the radio station, the control board is a Gates Stereo Yard, the station is AM while a "yard" would only be used at an FM Stereo station. None of the meters moved. None of the lights on the cart machines ever changed. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

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

Referenced in Veronica Mars: Un-American Graffiti (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
"Where were you in '62?" (Original ad)
28 November 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nostalgic look at one night/morning of a small California town and some of its teenagers. Story-wise this is nothing new--all the stereotypes are in place--the loving/bickering couple (Ron Howard and Cindy Williams); the rebel (Paul Le Mal) stuck with a 13 year old (Mackenzie Phuillips); the nerd (Charles Martin Smith) having a disastrous date with a blonde (Candy Clark); the hood (Bo Hopkins) showing the good boy (Richard Dreyfuss) a night out and Harrison Ford and Suzanne Somers in small parts.

What makes this movie better than average is the great direction by George Lucas--he fills the Cinemascope screen masterfully; the non-stop soundtrack of 50s/60s hits; a great script and the cast of then-unknowns. It's incredible to see some of these actors so young (especially Ford and Dreyfuss) and full of life. Without this cast, this movie would probably have long-since been forgotten.

So, no great shakes, but very sweet and nostalgic with some good acting. Worth catching. Try to see it letter-boxed or on a big screen.


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Why doesn't this movie get more respect? jerryco99
This movie is depressing for people who were born in a much later age matthijs_smits-802-533771
Question on Starting Steve's Car spin73
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You know you're an American Graffiti fan when... stephanielaur92
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