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The Making of 'American Graffiti' (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

There Are Treats Galore In This Wonderful Documentary Of An Enormously Popular Film.

10/10
Author: rsoonsa (rsoonsa@bandbbooks.com) from Mountain Mesa, California
10 February 2006

It is difficult to even imagine into existence a more pleasing and useful "Making Of...." documentary than this artfully edited work from the splendidly talented Laurent Bouzereau whose fine cinematic sensibilities bring forth a veritable fountain of valuable information pertinent to a film of which its director George Lucas makes a salient point that "American Graffiti was considered avant garde" when initially released, due to, among other fresh elements, a presentation of four parallel story lines. The keen narrative style of Lucas is matched by Bouzereau throughout this piece as it follows GRAFFITI's conception, casting, shooting, and post-production, a motion picture filmed in only 27 nights, principally in Petaluma, California, having a minimal budget of $750,000, and running over three hours in its original form. This cinema document includes many not previously available outtakes, screen tests and stills, spicing a work that looks back upon a film that itself looks back to a lost period of popular American culture. An engaging blend of realism and farce, GRAFFITI focuses upon automobile "cruising", a way of life for a great many young people in California, including director Lucas in downtown Modesto, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, as he describes here. There is as well significant input by cinematographer Haskell Wexler, giving details concerning his utilization of documentary techniques for the original film; sound editor Walter Murth discussing GRAFFITI's benefiting from fresh usage of sound montage; casting director Fred Roos chronicling acting selections (Candy Clark was recommended to him by Jack Nicholson); the first employment for a feature film of recorded musical selections (due to a low music budget) instead of scoring is explained, and these are but a small portion of the interesting elements within this 80 minute documentary feature that has not one dull moment to it. This delightful "Making Of..." affair also provides incisive interviews with GRAFFITI featured and supporting players Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Harrison Ford, Mackenzie Phillips, Suzanne Somers, Kathleen Quinlan, the film's producer Francis Ford Coppola, in addition to script doctors Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz. This outstanding documentary effort is available upon a Universal DVD along with the original film and other features, and is most highly recommended to cineastes.

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