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Was 'American Graffiti' any good?

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

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  1. dolphin

    dolphin Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 1999
    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

    MadMardigan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Personally, I have yet to see it. It was nominated for 5 Oscar's including Best Picture for whatever that's worth.
     
  3. jacensky315

    jacensky315 Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Are you kiddin. possibly his best work.
     
  4. ferelwookie

    ferelwookie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 2001
    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

    Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2002
    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

    dolphin Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 1999
    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

    Luke_Clone Jedi Padawan star 4

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

    KaaShamau Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 15, 2000
    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

    BKK Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 27, 2002
    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

    ferelwookie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Yes! Suzanne Somers is smokin' in that flick!

    Follow that car!!!
     
  11. Super_Nation_Jock

    Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2002


    CURT: I'm looking for this girl.

    WOLFMAN: Aren't we all?

    FROM AMERICAN GRAFFITI :)
     
  12. Vonn

    Vonn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2000
    Yes. Very good.
     
  13. sweethoneygirl

    sweethoneygirl Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 15, 2002
    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

    Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2002

    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

    DarthSidious990 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 17, 2002
    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

    Luukeskywalker Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 1999
    I wonder if that yellow car was George's inspiration for Anakin's speeder in Episode II.
     
  17. Dahal

    Dahal Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    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-Overated Jedi Youngling

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

    Darthkarma Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2000


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

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

     
  20. DarthTunick

    DarthTunick SfC Part IV Commissioner star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2000
    American Graffiti is an absolute classic & one of my favorite films. :cool:
     
  21. dolphin

    dolphin Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Would anyone place it above any of the Star Wars films?
     
  22. Super_Nation_Jock

    Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2002


    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

    qui-gon-kim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2001
    Besides Anakin's speeder, Dex's diner was also an homage to American Grafitti.
     
  24. Darthkarma

    Darthkarma Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2000


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

    waheennay Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Wolfman Jack is kind of the "Obi-Wan" of the movie.
     
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