Was 'American Graffiti' any good?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by dolphin, Jul 15, 2002.

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  1. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 4
    Hi, I am somebody who has never seen American Graffiti. I know it the last major film by Lucas before Star Wars and was part of the reason the studios let him make ANH. Is it any good? What are your opinions of it?
  2. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Personally, I have yet to see it. It was nominated for 5 Oscar's including Best Picture for whatever that's worth.
  3. jacensky315 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    Are you kiddin. possibly his best work.
  4. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    Solid. Funny. WELL acted and very entertaining. Probably Lucas' best job as a DIRECTOR. It's in the AFI's top 100 films of all time.

    It's really a slice-of-life nogstalgia piece, that most MTV viewers would find "boring" or corny. It's an excellent movie that truly captures the mood and spirit of the time with a cool 1950's/60's soundtrack. Definetly worth at least a rental.
  5. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4
    ditto Ferelwookie's comments.

    AMERICAN GRAFFITI is one of the truly great films produced in this country that captured an era, a feeling and a moment of innocence, set in 1962, the year before Kennedy's assasination and our nation's soul was wounded. Lucas set it at the perfect time.
    It is also a BRILLIANT look at teenage mating rituals, lol. And cruising for chicks.

    If you see THX 1138 (which is actually a very professionally made film, though flawed and eccentric) and then watch AMERICAN GRAFFITI, you will be AMAZED at the transition. GRAFFITI is about a million times warmer, more commercial and more accessible. It's as though Lucas decided it was time to lighten up.

    Lucas spent a HUGE amount of time picking the cast. He did this very consciously. He realized this movie was a small, painfully personal story and that it would require a GREAT ensemble cast to pull it off. The number of people in that film who went on to be successful after GRAFFITI is amazing. Even the ones that didn't become stars got their first major exposure and went on to become solid working actors.

    GRAFFITI is full of the themes that were begun in THX and which continue in Lucas's work to this very day.

    THEMES SUCH AS:

    WE ARE LIVING IN CAGES WITH THE DOORS OPEN
    An individual leaving familiar surroundings to seek his or her destiny.

    SUNRISES/SUNSETS
    Graffiti begins at sunset, ends at sunrise

    SPEED
    Drag-racing and powerful fast vehicles.

    Filming started on June 28th, 1972 and continued for 28 nights. Lucas was absolutely exhausted halfway through the shoot because he wasn't getting enough sleep and he was trying too hard to be both the cinematographer AND the director. Francis Ford Coppola intervened and persuaded legendary cinematographer Haskell WExler to join the film as a favor and help Lucas complete the film on time.

    The success of AMERICAN GRAFFITI was beyond anything Lucas could have imagined. It only cost $ 750,000 to make. It earned 115 million dollars world-wide and got nominated for FOUR Academy Award nominations, including BEST PICTURE and BEST DIRECTOR and BEST SCREENPLAY.

    Lucas personally earned about 4 million dollars after taxes from AMERICAN GRAFFITI.
    It was the first time in his adult life (he was now 28) that he was not flat broke.

    The success of AMERICAN GRAFFITI persuaded
    20th Century Fox studio head ALAN LADD JR.
    to give Lucas carte blanche to make STAR WARS. The rest is history.

    IT IS A GREAT FILM. if you haven't seen it,
    it is well worth your time.

    The scene at the radio station with Wolfman Jack and Richard Dreyfuss is one of the most encouraging, optimistic scenes for teens in any movie. It shows the true inner heart of George Lucas. He believes all things are possible and it's up to us to get out and explore the world and make something of ourselves.

    That's certainly what he did.

    In case you can't tell, I love that film!
    :)
  6. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 4
    Ok, after reading SuperNationJock's well-written critique of AG I am compelled to give it a rent. Thanks SNJ! You gave me more info than I hoped to receive.
  7. Luke_Clone Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    I second that Dolphin! :) Hopefully, I'll get the chance to check out the film sometime later this summer.
  8. KaaShamau Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2000
    star 4
    Try and see the DVD, it has an excelent Making Of feature (in the UK anyway, so I assume it's on other regions too). Good film.
  9. BKK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 3
    Yes American Graffiti is very good. What makes the movie good is the cast in my opinion. very, very talented group of actors, if you rent it you will recognize 90% of the actors. Especially a hot Suzanne Sommers.
  10. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    Yes! Suzanne Somers is smokin' in that flick!

    Follow that car!!!
  11. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4


    CURT: I'm looking for this girl.

    WOLFMAN: Aren't we all?

    FROM AMERICAN GRAFFITI :)
  12. Vonn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2000
    star 4
  13. sweethoneygirl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 1
    I loved this movie! It was a very funny depection on what kids go through in deciding what to do for the rest of their life and having one last night of fun.

    I saw an interview with Harrison Ford about the scene between Cindy Williams and himself. George told him to woo her he should sing to her. Of course, the only song he could think of was "Some Enchanted Evening". That is a classic part of the movie in my opinion!
  14. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4

    One thing I love about the film is the CARS.
    Lucas loves drag racing and cool cars and it shows. Paul LeMat's piss yellow coupe is AWESOME. I heard after the film was released, a lot of rock stars tried to get their hands on that car, but it was unavailable. Too bad. I would like to
    own it too!
  15. DarthSidious990 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2002
    star 4
    Yes he did a very good job directing the movie. Its worth seeing, and its fun. Its sometimes hard for me to visualize Lucas directing that kind of movie though.
  16. Luukeskywalker Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 4
    I wonder if that yellow car was George's inspiration for Anakin's speeder in Episode II.
  17. Dahal Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    Yes, it was the inspiration for Anakin's yellow speeder. It talks about it in Episode2: The Art of Star Wars, if I remember correctly.

    Dahal
  18. Jedi-Overated Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2002
    It was his inspration? I didn't know that. Interesting fact.
  19. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    Here's a link to a wonderful article on the web about AMERICAN GRAFFITI.

    http://www.filmsite.org/amerg.html

  20. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    American Graffiti is an absolute classic & one of my favorite films. :cool:
  21. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 4
    Would anyone place it above any of the Star Wars films?
  22. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4


    I don't think I'd place it above the SW films, but I do think that American Graffiti made SW possible. Without that film being such a huge success, SW would have never happened.
  23. qui-gon-kim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2001
    star 4
    Besides Anakin's speeder, Dex's diner was also an homage to American Grafitti.
  24. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    That's true, Dex's diner even featured a waitress on wheels, just like GRAFFITI, ;)
  25. waheennay Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2000
    star 4
    Wolfman Jack is kind of the "Obi-Wan" of the movie.
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