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American Graffiti (1973)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  1 August 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 60,752 users  
Reviews: 237 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 7 wins & 8 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


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


Comedy | Drama


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
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Did You Know?


George Lucas turned down offers to direct Lady Ice (1973), Tommy (1975) and Hair (1979) in order to make this film. See more »


Near the end of the movie, Steve throws Toad and Debbie out of his '58 Chevy at Mel's Drive-In. As Toad and Debbie are stepping out of the car, there is a reflection of a boom mic moving along the left rear portion of the car's roof. 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 ...
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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 »


Teen Angel
Written by Red Surrey and Jean Dinning (as Jean Surrey)
Performed by Mark Dinning
Courtesy of MGM Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

The single-greatest teen-age cruising film ever made
3 January 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

American Graffiti, voted in 1998 to the American Film Institute's list of 100 superlative films, is as good today as it was upon its release in 1973. Countless films (such as Linklater's excellent Dazed and Confused) have borrowed heavily from Lucas' blueprint of multiple characters and storylines punctuated by wall to wall rock music. If possible, you should try to see the 1998 documentary that accompanies the DVD release, as it provides a wealth of information directly from Lucas, Coppola, LeMat, Ford, Clark, Dreyfuss, Howard, and many others about the creation of the film from concept to box-office phenomenon.

44 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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