23 Facts About American Graffiti


American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by George Lucas, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, written by Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz and Lucas, and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack.

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The genesis of American Graffiti took place in Modesto in the early 1960s, during Lucas' teenage years.

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American Graffiti was unsuccessful in pitching the concept to financiers and distributors, but found favor at Universal Pictures after every other major film studio turned him down.

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American Graffiti premiered on August 2, 1973, at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and was released on August 11, 1973, in the United States.

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American Graffiti turned down those offers, determined to pursue his own projects despite his urgent desire to find another film to direct.

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American Graffiti began writing a script, completing his first draft in just three weeks.

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Lucas intended to end American Graffiti showing a title card detailing the fate of the characters, including the death of Milner and the disappearance of Toad in Vietnam.

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Production proceeded with virtually no input or interference from Universal since American Graffiti was a low-budget film, and executive Ned Tanen had only modest expectations of its commercial success.

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Petaluma, a similarly small town about 20 miles north of San Rafael, was more cooperative, and American Graffiti moved there without the loss of a single day of shooting.

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Instead, he elected to shoot American Graffiti using two cinematographers and no formal director of photography.

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American Graffiti believed that Techniscope, an inexpensive way of shooting on 35 mm film and using only half of the film's frame, would give a perfect widescreen format resembling 16 mm.

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American Graffiti used goofs for the final cut, notably Charles Martin Smith's arriving on his scooter to meet Steve outside Mel's Drive-In.

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American Graffiti had originally written the script so that the four storylines were always presented in the same sequence (an "ABCD" plot structure).

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The first cut of American Graffiti was three and a half hours long, and to whittle the film down to a more manageable two hours, many scenes had to be cut, shortened, or combined.

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The consensus reads: "One of the most influential of all teen films, American Graffiti is a funny, nostalgic, and bittersweet look at a group of recent high school grads' last days of innocence.

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Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote, "American Graffiti is such a funny, accurate movie, so controlled and efficient in its narrative, that it stands to be overpraised to the point where seeing it will be an anticlimax.

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Murphy from Variety felt American Graffiti was a vivid "recall of teenage attitudes and morals, told with outstanding empathy and compassion through an exceptionally talented cast of unknown actors".

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American Graffiti depicts multiple characters going through a coming of age, such as the decisions to attend college or reside in a small town.

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American Graffiti was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, but lost to The Sting.

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Internet reviewer MaryAnn Johanson acknowledged that American Graffiti rekindled public and entertainment interest in the 1950s and early 1960s, and influenced other films such as The Lords of Flatbush and Cooley High (1975) and the TV series Happy Days.

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Alongside other films from the New Hollywood era, American Graffiti is often cited for helping give birth to the summer blockbuster.

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American Graffiti gave an amount of the film's profits to Haskell Wexler for his visual consulting help during filming, and to Wolfman Jack for "inspiration".

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In 1995, American Graffiti was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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