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American Graffiti (1973)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  11 August 1973 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 53,235 users  
Reviews: 222 user | 93 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 8 wins & 6 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

Two boys are scheduled to leave for college in the morning. Each has his own doubts. They spend a final evening cruising the strip and have every adventure possible before dawn when they will each have to decide what they will do. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

night | college | school | car | high school | See more »

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:

American Graffiti  »

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

The Mel's Drive-in restaurant in the movie had been closed and was reopened specifically for filming. It was demolished after the movie was completed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Summer of 4 Ft. 2 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Louie Louie
Written by Richard Berry
Performed by Flash Cadillac (as Flash Cadillac and The Continental Kids)
Produced by Kim Fowley
Courtesy of Roulette Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So Much For Being 17
23 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember watching this movie on May 31, 2002, the night before my high school graduation and when I watch this film, it reminded me of the things that happened with me throughout my senior year: from a guy I knew, who cheated on his girlfriend with a cheerleader, to the terrorist attack that tore America apart; causing Americans to go against one another, from the crushes, the heartbreaks, prom night, to Spider-Man being the movie of the year, graduation rehearsal, and technology becoming the new aspect in my life and when I watched American Graffiti, it reminded me of when the good times meant something with those around me.

The film takes place in 1962 California, a pre JFK assassination which showed the innocence of youth crusin' the streets and talking to buddies outside of their windows as they drive; now, in today's world it's a bloodbath. Even the music played a part of innocence back in the 60's where artist such as Fats Domino, Beach Boys, Bill Haley and the Comets, The Platters, even Chuck Berry were a pain in the butt to most of the adults of that time, but a joy. Now? Songs about sex, drugs, and murder have become the new waves to today's youth of America.

American Graffiti has four teenage boys who cruise in different directions in their hometown where some question their own faith. The main character in the story is Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) who is about to leave east for college where he is dubious on whether or not he should leave town in order to start a new life. Yet his friend Steve (Ron Howard) encourages him to leave and tells him not to crawl back into his little nest. All night, Curt cruises the streets with his sister Laurie (Cindy Williams) and Steve, where he sees a blonde woman driving a white T-Bird who mouths "I love you." Now Curt is on the hunt to find this blonde woman as he encounters a gang called The Pharaohs who want to pound him after he scratches the gang's car.

The next character is Steve whose Curt's best friend and happens to be dating Laurie and wants to rush things as quickly as possible. He wants to break up so they can see other people; but later when they are named King and Queen at the homecoming dance, they are together again where he tries to have sex with her. Yet, things don't work out well between them, and Steve questions his own destiny on whether he should stay or not, leaving Curt to be right as usual.

John Milner (Paul LeMat) is the hotshot of the state who doesn't want to leave town because he is afraid that everything will change. After the beginning of the film he talks to Curt about "The Pickin's are really getting' slim" that everything is changing in terms of music, girls, crusin' the street even from his friends departing. He cruises the streets where he accidentally picks up an underage girl (MacKenzie Phillips) who becomes more of a pal to John as they listen to Wolfman Jack and hear good old time music. Yet, John is up for a little competition, as a new drag racer by the name of Bob Falfa, (Harrison Ford) wants to race him.

The other character of the gang is Terry "The Toad," Fields (Charles Martin Smith) the nerd who drives a mophead, gets to take Steve's car for a ride in the town. Yet, as he tries to impress people, he meets one girl Debbie (Candy Clark) who decides to go with Terry after she hears about him talking about his "new" car. Terry who thinks he is a reject is now proved that he is a man as he cruises the streets with the girl on his arms, and just trying to prove that even nerds have their moments as well.

American Graffiti in my opinion is a retrospect of the good times that people had when everything was innocent, in an era where crusin' was important, especially rock n' roll. But as time changes on, people will always remember the good times.


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