American Graffiti (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

American Graffiti1973

American Graffiti (1973)



Critic Consensus: One of the most influential of all teen films, American Graffiti is a funny, nostalgic, and bittersweet look at a group of recent high school grads' last days of innocence.

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Movie Info

This Academy Award-nominated classic, voted one of the American Film Institute's top 100 Films Of All Time, features the coming of age of four teenagers on their last summer night before college. Rediscover drag racing, Inspiration Point and drive-ins all over again in this nostalgic look back at the early '60s. The incredible soundtrack brings you the most memorable rock 'n' roll hits of the era. Directed by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, this classic stars Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack and Mackenzie Phillips. Capture the heart of America's last age of innocence with American Graffiti.

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Suzanne Somers
as Blonde in T-Bird
Wolfman Jack
as XERB Disc Jockey
Bo Hopkins
as Joe Young
Caprice Schmidt
as Announcer
John Brent
as Car Salesman
Charles Dorsett
as Man at Accident
Donna Wehr
as Carhop #2
Jim Bohan
as Policeman Holstein
Ron Vincent
as Jeff Pazzuto
Fred Ross
as Ferber
Jody Carlson
as Girl in Studebaker
Debra Scott
as Falfa's Girl
Cam Whitman
as Balloon Girl
John Bracci
as Gas Station Attendant
Ed Greenberg
as Kip Pullman
Lisa Herman
as Girl in Dodge
Debralee Scott
as Falfa's Girl
Chuck Dorsett
as Man at Accident
Stephen Knox
as Kid at Accident
Terry McGovern
as Mr. Wolfe
Del Close
as Manin Alley
Jan Dunn
as Old Woman
Scott Beach
as Mr. Gordon
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Critic Reviews for American Graffiti

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (12)

The ostensible narrative focus is Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), the sensitive scholarship kid determined to break away, but the film, sometimes to its detriment, is more in love with the vibrant small-town milieu.

February 19, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Without unnecessary nudging or underlining, Lucas beautifully establishes his characters as both enslaved to the image of themselves which the media have given them and permanently in need of its company.

March 27, 2020 | Full Review…

The movie is a comic poem which celebrates the past but also catalogues its textures with telling precision. American Graffiti looks like no other movie, an achievement which is always the best measure of a truly gifted director.

August 1, 2017 | Full Review…

This superb and singular film catches not only the charm and tribal energy of the teen-age 1950s but also the listlessness and the resignation that underscored it all like an incessant bass line in one of the rock-'n'-roll songs of the period.

July 7, 2014 | Full Review…

Brilliant and highly influential.

February 14, 2012 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

A funny-serious movie with gorgeous cars and colours and an amazing feel for the artefacts of an instantly vanished era.

May 6, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for American Graffiti

George Lucas is happily in his element discussing, remembering, life in small town United States before the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the arrival of the Beatles. While there's old cars and plenty of early rock and roll radio, malt shops and cruising the strip, it's in the electricity of the sock hops that Lucas really feels his groove. Nice stuff, even if the thrust of the thing is chiefly about how being white and well thought of is no guarantee of happiness. Of the four main characters, clichès all (one squeaky clean class president, one James Dean-like gearhead, one "smart guy", and one spazz nerdtype), only one "gets lucky" and he gets an asswhupping. Luckily the music saves the thing.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

My favorite George Lucas film, "American Graffiti" nails youthful nostalgia almost perfectly, with believably charming, yet confused characters, an incredible, almost omnipresent soundtrack, and great car-based visuals which are trance-inducing as well as useful in placing audiences firmly within the strangely familiar world of teenagers in 1962.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

"American Graffiti" is the type of movie that I can see a lot of people disliking, but by the end of the movie, after all the characters go through their transformations, it is very interesting, funny, and heart warming to see how mature kids used to be, when they needed to be. They still have an insane amount of fun while knowing that life is coming, tomorrow. Their plan is to have one last great night on the town, picking up girls, having sex, and street racing. There have been many films made that are similar to this concept, but George Lucas directs this in ways that I never would have seen coming. The characters are loveable, the premise is relatable, an the era of the 1960's was captured with perfection. The retro feel of the entire movie had a smile on my face. Still, it feels a little too long and some of the dialogue is corny. Overall, "American Graffiti" is a classic teen dramedy that everyone can relate to. It's terrific entertainment!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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