Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - American Graffiti

Okay folks, I'm reaching waaaaaaay back in the Way Back Wednesday machine - 36 years to be exact, probably before many of you were born. OMG - I'm really getting old!

American Graffiti is a 1973 coming of age film directed by George Lucas, and written by Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Charles Martin Smith, Paul Le Mat, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, Suzanne Somers, and Wolfman Jack and features Harrison Ford.

American Graffiti takes place in 1962 Modesto, California, and follows the activities and adventures of a group of teenagers during a night of cruising around town and listening to pirate radio personality Wolfman Jack.

The story is presented in a series of vignettes focusing on the four main characters—Curt Henderson (Dreyfuss), Steve Bolander (Howard), John Milner (Le Mat) - I had such a crush on him - and Terry "The Toad" Fields (Smith). Steve and Curt are preparing to leave town to attend college in the East, John goes off cruising the streets in his yellow deuce coupe and Terry is car-sitting Steve's 1958 Chevy Impala for the evening.

The entire movie revolves around friendships, breakups and reunions with a look at typical summer activities for a group of teenagers in the early 1960s. I loved the cars in this film: '32 Deuce Coupe, '55 Bel-Air, '56 Thunderbird and '58 Chevy Impala - all of them too cool!

I think part of the appeal of this movie for me is the fact it is supposed to take place the year I was born. It is a fascinating - and somewhat realistic, according to my parents - look at teens and young adults in the early 1960s. I can actually picture my Dad at that time - he stills loves the cars from that era and has made a hobby out of restoring old cars. I can also picture my Mom with her big hair and trendy clothes - I have a few pictures of her at this time and she could have fit right into this movie.

This is a great family film and is rated PG.

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