- Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams
- Directors: George Lucas
- Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck
- Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Kurtz
- Format: VHS
- Language: German
- Studio: Universal
- VHS Release Date: 6 May 2002
- Run Time: 107 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 258 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00004R6FY
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,251 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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In early Sixties, pre-Vietnam America, a bunch of teens go cruising in their hometown after the annual school dance. Steve (Ron Howard) and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) are meant to be leaving for college the next day, but Steve's girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams) doesn't want him to go and Curt is also beginning to have doubts. Meanwhile, class nerd Terry (Charles Martin Smith) has an unexpected encounter with an older woman, and John (Paul LeMat), the owner of the fastest car on the street, tries to get rid of a precocious 13-year-old he has mistakenly picked up. George Lucas' second feature was an enormous box-office hit and heralded a wave of rock'n'roll nostalgia, inspiring the TV series 'Happy Days'. Harrison Ford also appears in an early role.
Here's how American critic Roger Ebert described the unique and lasting value of George Lucas' 1973 box-office hit, American Graffiti: "[It's] not only a great movie but a brilliant work of historical fiction; no sociological treatise could duplicate the movie's success in remembering exactly how it was to be alive at that cultural instant." The time to which Ebert and the film refers is the summer of 1962, and American Graffiti captures the look, feel, and sound of that era by chronicling one memorable night in the lives of several young Californians on the cusp of adulthood. (In essence, Lucas was making a semi-autobiographical tribute to his own days as a hot-rod cruiser, and the film's phenomenal success paved the way for Star Wars.) The action is propelled by the music of DJ Wolfman Jack's rock & roll radio show--a soundtrack of pop hits that would become as popular as the film itself. As Lucas develops several character subplots, American Graffiti becomes a flawless time capsule of meticulously re-created memory, as authentic as a documentary and vividly realised through innovative use of cinematography and sound. The once-in-a-lifetime ensemble cast members inhabit their roles so fully that they don't seem like actors at all, comprising a who's who of performers--some of whom went on to stellar careers--including Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat. A true American classic. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
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The Az blurb is reasonably accurate, but it does not convey the flavours of that last hot summer night of freedom before heading off to College; the teenage lusts and rivalries, the classic cars and hot-rods, the way Wolfman Jack and his music permeates everything via the car radios, and all this is leavened by some outstandingly funny moments, my favourite being the incident with the Police car. The world has moved on, and this sort of happening is highly unlikely in modern America, or anywhere else for that matter. It is a moment of history lovingly recreated for our entertainment.
I bought my DVD in 2003, and it comes out for a play every now and again when the TV is dire, and we watched it again today. This was the first viewing on my newer better TV, and I was impressed by how the picture quality still seems appropriate with the semi-documentary feel; not the crispest or cleanest, but considering it was a genuine night shoot on film pushed past its limits it is amazingly good.
The Extras include a documentary about the making of the film, and it is well worth viewing because it gives us a great insight into what made George Lucas tick in those days.
American Graffiti seems to smartly captivate the audience with easy going atmosphere, innocent gags and popular pop music, but it is a bittersweet dream of something that has already happened and, when you are young, do not know if and how it is going to happen: the uncertainty of future and life, the feeling of youth passing by and already expiring.
Shot and directed with a mix of documentary style, acting improvisation and yet also a great care for details and audio (splendid) and visual impressions (director of photography is the great Haskel Wexler), American Graffiti is a true and genuine masterpiece, exactly like young Richard Dreyfuss face.
The overall impression i got was that Lucas wasn't a very good director at all , im not a fan of Star Wars and for me this is his best film, he cast the film very well with non stars , more cost saving , but he was right about most of the choices and the script must have been very good though it is funny when he tells us the studio hated it and offered to buy it back and not release it .
Its a good fun film , if you've never seen it, with a cracking soundtrack and the idea was copied in 'Dazed and Confused' and thats great too , if you've not seen that , i recommend it if you enjoyed this.
mistakes i saw in this film on Blu-ray was the crew hiding behind the kids at the hop when the camera pans 360 during the spotlight dance ,one's holding a light i think ,hes the one crouching down when the camera pointing his way haa haa caught you!
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