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American Graffiti (Collector's Edition) (1973)

Ron Howard , Cindy Williams , George Lucas  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Wolfman Jack
  • Directors: George Lucas
  • Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 1998
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078322737X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,299 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Graffiti (Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of American Graffiti
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Production Notes
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com

    Here's how critic Roger Ebert described the unique and lasting value of George Lucas's 1973 box-office hit, American Graffiti: "[It's] not only a great movie but a brilliant work of historical fiction; no sociological treatise could duplicate the movie's success in remembering exactly how it was to be alive at that cultural instant." The time to which Ebert and the film refers is the summer of 1962, and American Graffiti captures the look, feel, and sound of that era by chronicling one memorable night in the lives of several young Californians on the cusp of adulthood. (In essence, Lucas was making a semiautobiographical tribute to his own days as a hot-rod cruiser, and the film's phenomenal success paved the way for Star Wars.) The action is propelled by the music of Wolfman Jack's rock & roll radio show--a soundtrack of pop hits that would become as popular as the film itself. As Lucas develops several character subplots, American Graffiti becomes a flawless time capsule of meticulously re-created memory, as authentic as a documentary and vividly realized through innovative use of cinematography and sound. The once-in-a-lifetime ensemble cast members inhabit their roles so fully that they don't seem like actors at all, comprising a who's who of performers--some of whom went on to stellar careers--including Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, and Paul Le Mat. A true American classic, the film ranks No. 77 on the American Film Institute's list of all-time greatest American movies. Befitting that reputation, the collector's edition DVD includes a full-length commentary by Lucas, a behind-the-scenes featurette about the film's production, a photo gallery, and extensive production notes. --Jeff Shannon

    Product Description

    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.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    160 of 175 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Where Was I In '62? Where Were You? August 26, 2003
    Format:DVD
    "Where were you in `62?"
    I wasn't around in `62 -- I was born in `63, as a matter of fact, and I was 10 when George Lucas' American Graffiti was released. I wasn't really aware of either George Lucas or American Graffiti in 1973, although four years later I would know Lucas from his next -- and most popular -- film, Star Wars. I did not go to the movies much in 1973, but I saw this wonderful film when it was broadcast by ABC some years later. (ABC, capitalizing on its "hot" new sitcom, Three's Company, shamelessly promoted it as "starring Suzanne Somers." In fact, Suzanne is not even billed with the eight "stars.")
    If film and television historians have it right, though, American Graffiti was the catalyst for the 1950s Nostalgia fad that begat TV's Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and the blessedly short-lived Joanie Loves Chachi (not to mention Sha Na Na and Broadway`s Grease). And it isn't terribly surprising that Happy Days and its spin-offs owe their inspiration -- if not their very existence -- to Lucas' first major culturally significant film. Happy Days starred Ron Howard, who (as Ronny Howard) had second billing in Graffiti, while Laverne and Shirley costar Cindy Williams was the female lead.
    American Graffiti is a bittersweet yet comedic look at what the DVD publicity blurb says was "America's last age of innocence." In the summer of `62, JFK was in the White House, the Beatles were still unknown in this side of the Atlantic, and drive in diners and movie palaces were very popular. There was no Internet or even Studio 54 just yet, so kids went cruising, looking for girls to pick up or rivals to race in their souped-up hot rods.
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    47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    I think you'll find that the cash you'll fork over for this DVD Collector's Edition of 1973's "American Graffiti" will be money very wisely spent. Because the outstanding, in-depth, 78-minute documentary feature, "The Making Of American Graffiti", is worth the cost all by itself.

    Every single one of the film's major cast members takes part in the documentary program. Director George Lucas and Producer Francis Ford Coppola (plus other members of the production staff and crew) also participate in this fascinating behind-the-scenes "Making Of" feature, which is one of the best documentaries I've ever come across on a DVD.

    Mr. Lucas talks openly and extensively about the making of "Graffiti" and guides the viewer, step-by-step, through the many aspects of creating this unique film -- from the difficulty in getting a studio interested in the project, to the movie's filming on the streets of two small California towns, and through to the release of the picture in theaters (the movie opened on August 11, 1973).

    Many interesting tidbits of information are revealed in the documentary, including Harrison Ford's recollection of his "cowboy hat". It seems that Harrison was opposed to getting one of those awful '60s-style haircuts (as were others in the cast). So Ford talked Director Lucas into letting him wear a cowboy hat instead. And then there's Charlie Martin Smith ("Toad"), who had some problems parking his motor scooter in the film's very first scene. But Charlie's gaffe was left in the final cut of the movie by Director Lucas. (Which is a good thing too; it's a great moment in the picture.)

    Some original actor Screen Tests are also included in the Making-Of documentary.
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    48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars American Classic August 31, 2005
    By Scipio
    Format:DVD
    I originally watched this movie in high school. Despite having been told about most of the best scenes in advance by my friends, it was still a lot of fun. Of course, a lot of other people thought so too, as it spawned a nostalgia craze for the 50s and early 60s resulting in many (too many?) seasons of "Happy Days," among others.

    A few years ago, I saw the movie again on TV. I realized that, even though I was much more mature (at least physically), this movie still seemed very very good.

    I recently got the DVD and watched it properly and I have to say that, after careful scrutiny, this really is one of the finest films ever made. I won't retell a story that's much better told by the movie, but: it has a lot of laughs, but it's not entirely a comedy (especially the ending); it has plenty of music, but it's not a musical; it has plenty of action, but no blood and gore; it seems incredibly realistic, but there is never a dull moment; there are multiple storylines and an ensemble cast, but it never gets confusing.

    Every aspect of this movie is impressive, but I'm particularly struck by the genius of George Lucas and associates when it comes to casting. Every actor in this movie seems perfect for the role they play. If you look hard you'll see quite a few familiar faces getting their start (including Suzanne Somers very briefly as the girl in the Thunderbird). Many, particularly Harrison Ford & Richard Dreyfuss, went on to long, successful careers. Although they were all great in this film, I thought that Candy Clark was a standout.

    If you get this collector's edition of the DVD you'll also be able to see an in-depth "extra" on the story behind the making of the film - very interesting.
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