George Lucas’ American Graffiti is cinematic perfection. The 1973 film, written by Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck effectively created Hollywood’s fascination with nostalgia.
Made for just $700,000, the film grossed a massive $115 million at the US box office – which is more that £580 million in today’s currency. It saw then unknowns Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith (amongst others) cruising the streets of Modesto, California on one fateful night in the summer of 1962. Jammed with a stunning juke-box soundtrack (a cinematic first), the film captured the imagination of audiences and its success ultimately led to the likes of Grease, Happy Days, Back To The Future and Dirty Dancing.
George Lucas’ critics often say his films lack emotion, but American Graffiti is filled with humour and poignancy. A 1979 sequel from Bill L. Norton failed to recapture the original’s magic, but nothing takes away the genius of Lucas’ pic.