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American Graffiti (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 11 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 ...
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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:

11 August 1973 (USA)  »

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

Filming was beset by a series of misfortunes and disasters. The day before filming was due to start a key member of the crew was arrested for growing marijuana. On the first night of shooting it took so long to get the cameras mounted onto the cars that filming didn't get started until 2 a.m., putting the crew half a night behind schedule before they'd even started. Most of the outdoor footage was to be shot in San Rafael. After the first night of shooting the city revoked the crew's filming permit due to complaints from a bar owner that their blocking off of the main street was costing him business. Filming proceeded in San Rafael for three more nights, then moved to Petaluma, 20 miles away. On the second night of shooting a fire in a nearby restaurant brought fire trucks into the area, their sirens and the resulting traffic jam preventing any filming. See more »

Goofs

The Beach Boys song "All Summer Long" - which plays over the end credits - was released in the Summer of 1964 although the movie is set in the Summer of 1962, some two years before the song's release. But the characters do not hear it, only we do; and it is a suitable way of moving into the post-1962 "future". 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 Hop (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Green Onions
Written by Lewie Steinberg, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper (uncredited)
Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T & The MG's)
Courtesy of Atlantic Records:
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User Reviews

 
An eventful summer night for teenagers in 1962 California town
22 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This multi-layered DVD version of "American Graffiti" is the best trip back to the summer of 1962 Hollywood ever had to offer! The eventful night when freshly graduated high school friends contemplated their futures while immersed in small town America's car-hops, drive-in movies & doo-wop music (the soundtrack is one of the best featured in ANY film!), is shown in "real time".

Richard Dreyfuss is perfect as the smart kid, ready to drive off to college the next morning, but wondering if he's doing the right thing. Ron Howard and Cindy Williams get some practice for their soon to follow "Happy Days", while Charles Martin Smith and Candy Clark are wonderful as the goofus who wants to show a pretty girl a good time.

Wolfman Jack plays himself (and cupid) when he plays a very special request going out from Richard Dreyfuss to his dream girl Suzanne Sommers. Look for a pre-teen McKenzie Phillips and a young Harrison Ford in minor roles. This film is a big winner in my book!


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