AMERICAN GRAFFITI

(1973)
With Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins, Harrison Ford
Directed by George Lucas
Reviewed by JB

Cars      One of the best films of the early 1970s, AMERICAN GRAFFITI was the unexpected hit that launched the careers of several now-well known figures, not the least director George Lucas, whose followup to this classic was a little picture called STAR WARS.  Richard Dreyfus and Ron Howard were the two biggest stars to emerge from this film, while Harrison Ford, who would achieve stardom as Hans Solo in STAR WARS, appeared in a small part as a drag racer. Cindy Williams and Mackenzie Phillips would find fame in long-lasting sitcoms, and Charles Martin Smith would become a popular character actor and a movie and TV director.  Only Paul LeMat and Candy Clark seemed unable to cash in as they deserved to, considering Suzanne Somers, seen for approximately two seconds in the movie, wound up more famous than both of them combined.

     The movie itself, about four high school graduates on the last night of summer 1962, evokes the pre-Beatles, pre- Vietnam Sixties better than any other film I know of, and has a killer soundtrack to boot.  There is hardly a moment that doesn't have Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and other fifties stars wailing away on a jukebox or car radio in the background, and the each song enhances the mood of the scene in which they are heard.  The ending credits feature the now clichéd technique of revealing the subsequent fates of the four major character, making the inevitable bad sequel, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, utterly pointless. 5  - JB

Teen Comedy     The Stuff You Gotta Watch
Stuff You Gotta Watch
http://thestuffyougottawatch.com
Copyright © 2010 John V. Brennan, John Larrabee