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
The owner of the Thunderbird was never more than a few feet away from his prized possession during filming, and was always wiping here and shining there. He also drove Suzanne Somers crazy telling her what to do and what not to do. See more »
While talking to Curt at the radio station, Wolfman Jack pulls the tone arm off of a turntable. Seconds later, he does it again. See more »
Hey, what do you say, Curt? Last night in town... you guys gonna have a little bash before you leave?
The Moose have been looking for you all day.
[hands a check to Curt]
They got worried... thought you were trying to avoid them or something.
What is it? What do ya got?
That's $2,000 man! Two thousand dollars!
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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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 »
In addition to the Louie, Louie sequence at the hop, the reissued version had two other scenes added to the original release: Terry's exchange at the used car lot just before the first hop sequence, and Bob Falfa singing Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific after he picks up Laurie. In the original release, John Milner is listed as having been killed by a drunk driver in June of 1964 in the closing segment just before the final credits. When the movie was reedited in 1978, the date of his death was changed to December of 1964, most likely in anticipation of the release of its sequel, More American Graffiti. See more »
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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