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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
A couple of high school graduates spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.
Pretty sad George Lucas died right after finishing this and he never made another movie. But what a legacy!
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.…
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.
What did you say? Wait, what did you say?
I'm not gonna mince words here. American Graffiti is a straight-up flawless time capsule piece. Richard Dreyfuss has never been this good in anything else, his Curt is the yearning embodiment of the disillusioned wandering youth. Beyond the James Dean rebellion which marked the era, Dreyfuss' Curt conveys the ache for what could have been. Although Linklater's Dazed and Confused sprung to mind immediately, I found Dreyfuss' performance made me think of Joyce's Ulysses. The voyeur and the wanderer in one. The interwoven narrative is a masterclass in building dynamic progress and character and the ending is one of the best and most heart-breaking ever committed to film. American Graffiti is just superb filmmaking.
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…
American Graffiti is perfect in every meaning of the word, causing you to feel on top of the world during the runtime and ponder America's coming slump afterwards.
A fun romp that's not very great but at least entertaining and interesting to see George Lucas doing something other than Star Wars.
Such a heartmeltingly nostalgic portrait of the 60s and that strange twilight time before becoming an adult, portrayed here over a single metaphorical night full of booze, girls, cars and phantom temptresses. There are both great elements of romanticism and realism - the film as an overall experience recalls a fever dream of youth in all its hazy memory, but it's also a story of how not everyone gets out. Lucas is I imagine Curt: he has his projected dream girl whom he sees cruising the streets and eventually contacts, but must accept he can't see her the following night because he must go off to college, pursue his dreams and do what he must.
My favourite aspect was probably the jukebox soundtrack and the dreamy, street-reverberating recordings of it by Walter Murch whereby it takes on an omnipotent role in the story, seemingly heard by everyone everywhere and yet coming from nowhere in particular.
George Lucas' best movie?
I first saw this 10 years after it was made, 20 years after the time it was set. Now I’ve seen it a second time, 40 years after it was made, 50 years after the time it was set. I wonder if the shift in perspective is important. But if we feel time through our ego, then the time of the film remains the same: it is set during my childhood, but before I can remember. I recognize, for instance, all the music on the soundtrack, but my memory places it as ‘old’ music: it will always be music of a past time, but a time that had only just past...perhaps nostalgia is hardwired into my response. American Graffiti follows…
Good. Funny. Charming. Emotionally affecting. Gotta love a movie with young Ron Howard, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Dreyfuss, and a pre-fame Harrison Ford. Not to mention a pre-trainwreck Mackenzie Phillips.
I was born in 1991 and didn't get my driver's license until I was 18 years old. Still, there is something very relatable about George Lucas' American Graffiti. It has an authentic charm to it and plays with character archetypes that give it some timeless appeal. This was the second movie directed by the legendary George Lucas and it is more evidence of his legacy. The narrative is very scattered but that feels intentional. We are seeing a group of kids having one last crazy night before leaving for college. The pace definitely could have used a bit of tightening but I still had a good time watching this movie.
- Relatable characters
- Incredible soundtrack
- Cool cars
- Solid performances
- Harrison Ford
- The pacing could have used some tightening
- Steve is kind of a dick and Laurie would probably be better off without him
This is really a great American film that does not really get the credit it deserves.
One of the first films that actively created a feeling of nostalgia in those watching it. Superior to most of the 1980's high school nostalgia trips and I wasn't even born till the 90's.
Brilliant soundtrack too.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…