7.5/10
72,842
256 user 108 critic

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.

Director:

George Lucas
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Popularity
1,809 ( 841)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Curt
Ron Howard ... Steve (as Ronny Howard)
Paul Le Mat ... John
Charles Martin Smith ... Terry (as Charlie Martin Smith)
Cindy Williams ... Laurie
Candy Clark ... Debbie
Mackenzie Phillips ... Carol
Wolfman Jack ... Disc Jockey
Bo Hopkins ... Joe
Manuel Padilla Jr. ... Carlos
Beau Gentry Beau Gentry ... Ants
Harrison Ford ... Bob Falfa
Jim Bohan Jim Bohan ... Holstein
Jana Bellan ... Budda
Deby Celiz Deby Celiz ... Wendy
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Another Slow Night in Modesto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$115,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (1978) | (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Dolby System®)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After CinemaScope proved to be too expensive, George Lucas decided that the film should have a documentary-like feel, and shot the film using Techniscope cameras. He believed that Techniscope, an inexpensive way of shooting in 35 mm film and utilizing only half of the film's frame, would give a perfect widescreen format resembling 16 mm. 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 ...
[...]
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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 »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 110 min.; re-edited and re-released in a slightly longer version (112 min.) in 1978 when many of its then-unknown stars became famous. See more »

Connections

References Dementia 13 (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Peppermint Twist
Written by Joey Dee and Henry Glover (uncredited)
Joey Dee and The Starliters (as Joey Dee & The Starlighters)
Courtesy of Roulette Records:
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User Reviews

 
Let's be the way we are not going to be anymore for just one more night!!
11 September 2002 | by dataconflossmoorSee all my reviews

American Graffiti was a compilation of pop culture pique, a harbinger of political changes, and the birth of an era that explodes the "Leave it to Beaver America" simply by saying farewell to it!!!...Set in a small town in Southern California, with a bunch of people who's existence in 1962 means the 13th and final year of the fifties, it correlates a cosmic awareness with an innocent societal disagreement.... People are happy, but not happy enough to want to stay the same.... The constant bond throughout the film is Wolfman Jack, the "supercool" disc jockey who creates a thousand different images of himself just by virtue of what he says on the radio...He is illuminating as well as socially influential to a bunch of naive teenagers....The music in this movie is extremely entertaining, as it signifies the end of an Eisenhower style Utopia.. The couples that are paired off in this movie homogenize the attitudes and aspirations of these precocious 1962 teenagers, who are on the verge of growing up!! All of the characters in this film have an imperviousness to the objections related to a perceived totalitarianism brought on in the sixties, not just because the radical aspect of the decade has yet to be, but also, because locking horns with the authority figures is not second nature to them ...(Even Big John Milner)... The bevy of Radicalism which besieges our nation over the remainder of this decade, (the 1960's) created a metamorphosis in social behavior that would change all Americans, even the people living in the town of Graffit, California!!! This movie superbly exemplifies the phrase "The calm before the storm" It gives the entire movie audience a crystal ball concept analysis report that sparks a bittersweet realization and empathy for everyone who plays a significant role in this George Lucas masterpiece!! Director George Lucas has never been better...The cast is sensational!!and the film's unassuming demeanor surprisingly captures the honor of being one of America's greatest films on record!!! Five stars!! No question!!


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