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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.

Director:

George Lucas
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Popularity
809 ( 263)

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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:
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:

$115,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Dolby System®)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During most of the film the sounds on the radio and enhanced with a "slap-back" effect - a near simultaneous echo. This is to simulate the sound of multiple radios at different distances, all tuned to the same station, which reflects what is happening with all the cars in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Toad crashes his Vespa and walks away, and in the very next shot it is standing up and nicely parked. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The 1978 re-release version was re-mixed for Dolby Stereo, which was not available when American Graffiti was produced. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hungarian Graffiti (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight
Written by Pookie Hudson and Calvin Carter (uncredited)
The Spaniels'
Courtesy of Chess/Janus division of GRT Corporation:
See more »

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User Reviews

Breathtaking!
17 February 2005 | by inspectors71See all my reviews

This is the ground-breaking work by George Lucas, loosely based on his friends and his experiences as a teenager living in the San Joaquin Valley at the beginning of the 1960s, a time of gentle naiveté and innocence. There are no words to describe the edgy sweetness and humor that permeates this ensemble story of friends and enemies, jocks, brains, and punks maneuvering through the stultifying heat of the last weekend of summer vacation, 1962.

American Graffiti is a comedy, a drama, a tragedy, a musical, and a reminder of what small-town America once was, a mere forty years ago. From its breezy humor to its excruciating last moments (I remember theater-goers stunned in their seats, sobbing after the credits were done), Lucas's first major hit hits home. American Graffiti is pure magic.


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