Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by ryanof1, Jul 3, 2001.
More American Graffiti? Yeah right. What a snooze!
I know! More American Graffiti sucked hard!
Since American Grafitti was such a success, wasn't it the studio who insisted on the sequel?
Didn't George Lucas have absolutely nothing to do with it, too?
If movies are successful, the studios usually want to make a sequel.
GL did have something to do with it, but I don't remember exactly what.
The studio DID insist on this, it was not GL's idea.
I never even knew it had a sequel.
It's better off as one movie...not redundant.
"GL did have something to do with it, but I don't remember exactly what."
The details are fuzzy, but I remember that in one of Lucas' bio it said he did it in part because he owed a film to the studio. The concept/story is his own idea, he chose and hired the guy (Norton?) who wrote the script (and direct?) and didn't give him much liberty apparently. The Vietnam part was something he apparently insisted a lot on, something to do with having a kind of revenge on Coppola for Apocalypse now. He had little or nothing to do with the actual filming but both he and Marcia Lucas were involved in the editing process which, if I recall it right, bored the director to death or something like that and Lucas and his then wife took over.
It was a really weird movie. Sometimes there were two tiny pictures on the screen showing things. Bizarre.
That was another of Lucas' idea. That's part of what he had Marcia Lucas edit.
Although I was glad to hear that Toad didn't get killed in Vietnam, I otherwise could have lived my whole life without seeing "More American Graffiti"...
BTW, I'm pretty sure Lucas had very little to do with the sequel. I know for a fact that he didn't direct it.
"More American Graffitti" was a real mixed bag. It was more ambitious than "American Graffitti" in that it tried to reflect the whole decade of the 1960s in four separate stories set during four different New Year's Eves. Different film techniques popular in 60s cinema are used for each section (grainy documentary style for the Vietnam scenes, split screen effects for the San Francisco scenes), but it's quite confusing jumping through four different stories in four different timelines.
The whole film has a feeling of redundancy, as the original "American Graffitti" ended with a listing of the main characters' fates. I liked how Charles Martin Smith "cheats" his fate, and the suspense and tragedy built up while waiting for Paul Le Mat to die in an auto accident, but the rest of the film is a mess. Too much goofy slapstick without much point or clear direction.
Most of the original cast is back (Paul Le Mat, Ron Howard, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, and even Wolfman Jack), but Richard Dreyfuss is strangely absent (presumably his career was doing well at the time and he thought it was a mistake to do the sequel). I believe Lucas conceived the original story idea, did some editing, and served as a producer, but otherwise had little involvement with the film. "More American Graffitti" isn't all bad, but it seems to have descended into the realm of forgotten inferior sequels to great movies, like "The Sting II" and "Son of Kong".
You're right. It's definitely *not* the worst film ever made, but it was very disappointing compared to the original, which was an undeniable "classic" in every sense of the word.....
"THE BEGINNING'" documentary on the TPM DVD shows GL talking to Frank Oz about Ep 1's chances and he mentions MAG. He said with a sigh:"I made More American Graffiti and it made ten cents. Failed miserably."
It is by far the worst movie GL was involved in.
American Graffiti, defiantly does not need a sequel, especially "More American Graffiti"
Did it need a sequel? No.
Is MAG irredeemably bad? No.
I remember being up late past my bedtime one night when I was very young and seeing the (old) Lucasfilm logo come on the screen. I was very confused, because I didn't hear the Fox fanfare, so I wondered what the devil it could have been. I remember seeing helicopters and the film's logo, and a bit with Richie Cunningham and Shirley, but all in all I was just more confused (not to mention tired). Years later I finally rented it when I moved near a Hollywood video. I thought it was pretty good, not the classic its predecessor was, but who could expect it to be? It was interesting to see these characters later in life (though the Debbie plot was just a mess), but wholly unneccesary.
And I wouldn't really call it "revenge" for Apocalypse, more like George's chance to do his own take since it was (according to "Skywalking") his idea and Coppola didn't want to wait around for him to do it (and ended up changing it dramatically from George's original, which ended up as the Ewok battle anyway).
Could you imagine Coppola's Apocalypse Now starring Ewoks? Now THERE's a sequel that's begging to be made.
I read "Skywalking" also, and George denouced it, saying it was about as reputable as the National Inquirer.
Who knows how much of that stuff was true.
George may have denounced Skywalking, but that doesn't make it 100% inaccurate... in fact I'd say that most of it is accurate. GL's main problem with the book was that Pollock turned his supposed feud with Coppola into a soap opera of Enquirer-esque proportions. My point is that the Vietnam sequence is not "revenge" for anything. I do believe George when he says that there were exaggerations in Skywalking, but I also believe that a lot of the book is fact. It was culled from interviews with GL himself done expressly for the book. Then like right after the book came out Marcia left him and his life went down the pooter for a while. I don't know if I'd like some book reminding me of how great my life once was if I were in his position.
Lucas made a 3-picture deal with Universal. I believe he said they were the first studio he went to for Star Wars, but they turned him down. Then he went to United Artists (which produced Apocalypse Now), they turned him down. He completed his 3 picture deal by making an American Graffiti trilogy. There was More American Graffiti, and then Radioland Murders. The lead characters in that are the parents of Richard Dreyfuss's character.