Drama/Musical | In English | 112 minutes
As the summer of 1962 draws to a close, four recent high school graduates, Curt, Steve, Terry, and John, spend the night cruising the streets in Modesto, California, before they move on to college and elsewhere. While driving around, disc jockey Wolfman Jack spins popular rock ‘n’ roll records over the car radios. At a stop sign, Curt is entranced when a beautiful blonde in the car next to him, mouths, “I love you.” Curt goes to the radio station and asks Wolfman Jack to announce that the blonde should meet him at Mel’s Diner or call him. Meanwhile, Terry, socially inept, picks up Debbie, a flirtatious, rebellious woman. Carol, a precocious 12-year-old, talks John into driving her around all night. Bob Falfa, a hot-rodder, challenges the boys to a drag race. Bob and his girlfriend Laurie, crash and miraculously survive. This near-tragedy convinces Curt that it’s time to grow up. At the airport, Curt waves to his friends and family as he heads East to attend college.
Why Stream This Film?
American Graffiti was directed by George Lucas (next up Star Wars), produced by Francis Ford Coppola (next up The Godfather), starred future stars (Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss) and yet, every film studio turned it down. Eventually, Universal decided to take a chance with the film.They were amply rewarded: this minor masterpiece, that cost $777,000 to make, eventually grossed over $200 million.
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
- Metacritic Score: 97%
Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Candy Clark); Best Director (George Lucas); Best Screen Play (George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck); Best Editing (Verna Fields, Marcia Lucas)
Golden Globes: Winner, Best Motion Picture
BAFTA Awards: Nominated, Best Supporting Actress (Cindy Williams)
The United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
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AMERICAN GRAFFITI is a comic poem which celebrates the past but also catalogues its textures with telling precision. AMERICAN GRAFFITI looks like no other movie, an achievement that is always the best measure of a truly gifted director.
It’s a very good movie, funny, tough, unsentimental.
AMERICAN GRAFFITI acts almost as a milestone to show us how far (and in many cases how tragically) we have come.
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