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American Graffiti (1973)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  1 August 1973 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 55,736 users  
Reviews: 228 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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Title: American Graffiti (1973)

American Graffiti (1973) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
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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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...
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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

Plot Keywords:

college | night | school | car | summer | See All (154) »

Taglines:

Where were you in '62? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the sequence in which John and Carol smeared shaving cream on the 1960 Cadillac and deflated the tires, Paul Le Mat actually jumped onto and over the car during each take, and George Lucas became concerned that Le Mat's boots would put dents in the hood and trunk. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 The Cinema Snob: Friday the 13th (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Crying in the Chapel
Written by Artie Glenn
Performed by Sonny Till & The Orioles
Courtesy of Sue-Ellen Productions
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.


34 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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