Archive of films American Graffiti / American Graffiti
1973, 112 min
Section: New Hollywood
Curt, Steve, and John have just finished high school, but their real rite of passage is only beginning, one summer’s night in 1962. All they wanted was to have a good time with their cars, girls, and rock’n’roll. The small town they come from however is becoming a place full of exciting challenges that also lead to delusion and painful self-recognition. This song-filled retro-film was George Lucas’s second movie and the first commercial success of the New Hollywood generation.
Curt, Steve, and John have just finished high school, but their real rite of passage is only beginning, on a summer’s night in 1962. All they wanted was to have a good time with their cars, girls, and rock’n’roll. The small town they come from however is becoming a place full of exciting challenges that also lead to delusion and painful self-recognition... The seemingly authentic retro-film, shot in exteriors over twenty-nine nights, without a fixed screenplay and with largely unknown actors, clicked with the mood of the public and became the first financial success of the new creative generation. The film was even awarded in “official” circles (five Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture). The role of Curt as played by Richard Dreyfuss ties in closely to an autobiographical and, at the same time, mythical situation that Lucas calls “escaping from an open cage”: just like the hero from his debut THX 1138 or Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars trilogy, Curt too must gain self-awareness and free himself from his limitations.
About the director
George Lucas (b. 1944, Modesto, USA) as a producer and director, has been one of the most influential personalities of the Hollywood mainstream since the 1970s. After the failure of his sci-fi experiment THX 1138 (1970) among critics and viewers, he turned to more “user-friendly” forms. Nonetheless, his later works also deal with resistance to authority, running off into the great big world, the loss of innocence, and “forbidden” love. After American Graffiti (1973) he directed Star Wars (1977) and took the role of producer and writer in guiding its sequels The Empire Strikes Back (Irwin Kershner, 1980) and Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand, 1983). He returned to directing to create the prequel trilogy (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, 1999, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, 2002, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, 2005).
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Screenplay:||George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck|
|Dir. of Photography:||Ron Everslage, Jan D’Alquen|
|Editor:||Verna Fields, Marcia Lucas|
|Producer:||Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Kurtz|
|Production:||Lucasfilm, The Coppola Company, Universal|
|Cast:||Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Harrison Ford|