7.5/10
67,296
244 user 102 critic

American Graffiti (1973)

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director:

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Popularity
1,533 ( 34)

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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:
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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 ...
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Jim Bohan ...
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Deby Celiz ...

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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1973 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Another Slow Night in Modesto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$777,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$115,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Dolby System®)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a rumor that while George Lucas and a co-worker were editing the film, the co-worker asked Lucas for "reel two, dialogue two", which abbreviated to R2-D2, a name which surfaced in Lucas' later film, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). See more »

Goofs

Curt gives his former teacher a cigarette from a pack in his shirt pocket early in the movie. Curt is never seen to smoke during the rest of the movie, even when hanging out with the Pharoes. 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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.24 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

You're Sixteen
Written by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman (uncredited)
Johnny Burnette
Courtesy of United Artists Records:
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User Reviews

The single-greatest teen-age cruising film ever made
3 January 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

American Graffiti, voted in 1998 to the American Film Institute's list of 100 superlative films, is as good today as it was upon its release in 1973. Countless films (such as Linklater's excellent Dazed and Confused) have borrowed heavily from Lucas' blueprint of multiple characters and storylines punctuated by wall to wall rock music. If possible, you should try to see the 1998 documentary that accompanies the DVD release, as it provides a wealth of information directly from Lucas, Coppola, LeMat, Ford, Clark, Dreyfuss, Howard, and many others about the creation of the film from concept to box-office phenomenon.


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