All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
Where were you in '62?
A couple of high school graduates spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.
George Lucas' observational Altmanesque film remains far and away his best work with actors as well as his best all around film. A likable and talented cast keeps the lulls to a minimum and the soundtrack as score is outstanding. It is hard to believe that after showing an ear for dialogue in this film that Lucas went deaf so quickly.
Editor Verna Fields and sound designer Walter Murch should get equal credit with the cast for elevating the film high above the AIP film it could have been. Their work here is as impactful as any they did for Spielberg or Coppola at this time. You can have Star Wars, I'll take American Graffiti.
You're the most beautiful, exciting thing I've ever seen in my life and I don't know anything about you.
Films that sweep you away into a time long gone, and make you feel like you've always been there are a rarity. Theyre even more antiquated today, which makes the existence of films like American Graffiti worthy of being put in special little time capsules. (Or a certain Library of Congress.)
This film may take place in the very early 60's but the laid back, nocturnal, real time hangout vibe of the film is the story of every American youth's summer years. This is your fathers story. This is your grandfathers story and his father before him. This is our story.…
Pretty sad George Lucas died right after finishing this and he never made another movie. But what a legacy!
The first time I saw this I was on the cusp of starting my 1.5 years of community college and staying in town while all my friends went off to college, so I think I was too distracted and put off by the parallels between me and Richard Dreyfuss's character to appreciate the movie. Seen now with a little bit of distance I have a much better appreciation for George Lucas' almost Truffaut-like commitment to a tone of feather-light-yet-bittersweet nostalgia, with none of the clunky dialogue that we've come to expect from him. Funny, incredibly well-acted, and featuring a cool through-line in the form of Wolfman Jack's all-night radio show, the whole thing is actually pretty masterful - I've said this before but I think if you were to make an attempt to judge the future of Lucas' career by his first three movies, you'd probably think he was shaping up to be one of the very best.
I remember The Ron talk about how he failed to relate to certain older films regarded as classics. I've tended to go the other way , with only a couple of exceptions but unfortunately this happens to be one of them.
George Lucas's coming of age drama has a stunning reputation as both a cultural phenomenon and a box office sensation. This look at the lives of a group of teenagers in a small Californian town during one night in 1962 is a bit of a tough sell for me. It has a terrific young cast of future greats, a decent soundtrack, and enough emotional turmoil and drama to keep you interested. So why didn't it draw me in? I…
"You're the most beautiful, exciting thing I've ever seen in my life and I don't know anything about you."
There's an interesting parallel here I think between this and American Hustle (no, not just the title Smarty Pants). Both movies obviously hearken back to an older time with a bit of the nostalgia goggles-syndrome. But more relevantly, both movies are a bit of a mess in terms of their writing. The way Graffiti jumps around between its four central characters works because of a mysterious kinetic energy lying beneath the celluloid (here perhaps embodied in the soundtrack where Hustle derived its energy from its performances).
Regardless of its infatuation with the 50's, Graffiti does capture something about youth that seems…
You really feel like you're hanging out with these characters throughout the night.
Every teenager living in America needs to watch this film at least once.
This is the definitive 1950's period movie (besides, you know, Grease ). The constant, much-welcomed barrage of sodapop rock and roll (41 songs!) is absolutely divine. Beneath all the spot-on aesthetic adherence to the era, however, is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of a group of friends' nostalgic last night out that would work in any time period.
My dad has such fondness for the time of his childhood and youth (late 50s, early 60s), and such propensity to talk about it, that I think somehow a sort of “fabricated” nostalgia has actually been transferred into my psyche.
This movie takes me right back to the glory days I remember so well… 20 years before I was born.
(The movie itself, with its perfect soundtrack, unusual but deliberate pacing, and collection of appropriately unbelievable (isn't that what high school is?) characters, may have something to do with that, too)
The quintessential high school summer/coming-of-age movie. Dazed and Confused comes close, and Superbad works for its time, but there will never be another American Graffiti.
A nostalgic look back at the early 60's that's probably best enjoyed by theses familiar with the era. The cast is wide and varied resulting in many overlapping stories to accommodate them all that make American Graffiti feel almost like an extended television sitcom than a fully self-contained film. The use of popular music in the place of traditional score grounds the film in the era it was set very well. It succeeds at evoking an era, but I don't feel it evokes it in the best light. I didn't find myself drawn to this time and place and the youth culture that had built around it. I did get nostalgic for my own high school days where things like…
Letter Grade: A
Oh my George, what happened?
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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