American Graffiti Movie

Where were you in 62?

The all American car-hop at all about vinyl records.

A definitive slice of Americana, this fun-loving, laugh-filled American Graffiti movie recaptures the sights and sounds of the 1960s like few films before or since.

If you lived during the time this all happened you will love this movie. 

It is literally the soundtrack to the generation.

The movie captures playfully what American culture was all about, particularly in 1962 as portrayed by the many stories it tells.

This nostalgic look back follows a group of teenagers as they cruise the streets on their last summer night before college.

Mel's Diner, cruising, car-hops and hot-rod cars.

When the film begins, the credits play over a view of Mel's drive-in Restaurant late one summer afternoon as the sun is setting.

A blaring radio plays a familiar rock tune "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock," by Bill Haley and His Comets as friends gather at the restaurant.

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Another older character, John Milner, pulls up in a yellow, '32 Ford deuce coupe - Milner has been out of high school for two years and seems content to hang out and look cool.

He is a going-nowhere James Dean-wannabe and an acknowledged, undisputed drag-racing idol.
 
Later in the evening, the drive-in comes alive and is crowded with shiny chromed, hot-rod cars.

"Sixteen Candles" by The Crests begins to play as Car-hop waitresses on roller skates circle around the restaurant delivering orders on window trays to parked cars.

America's last age of innocence.

American Graffiti is a bittersweet yet comedic look at what some may say is "America's last age of innocence."

It's a classic coming-of-age story set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins and rock n’ roll...and is considered one of the best teen movies ever made.

The Beatles were still unknown on this side of the Atlantic, and drive in diners, soda shops and out door theaters were very popular.

There was no Internet so kids went cruising, looking for girls to pick up or rivals to race in their souped-up hot rods.

The American Graffiti Movie - Was it a musical?

Some may view American Graffiti as a musical with no singing or dancing.

It has plenty of music...but it's not a musical. The film is seamlessly laced with a classic rock-n-roll American Graffiti soundtrack composed of over forty hits.

Each song in the movie provides an emotional context, not just period atmosphere. Sounds emerging from the cruising car radios function as background music to define the emotions, dreams and frustrations of the group at Mel's Diner.


Who was the DJ with the gravel voice?

What united the entire car crazy generation was rock & roll, and regional subsections of that generation were connected usually by a single personality, in the form of a radio disk jockey.

In this case it's the mysterious and almost mystical "Wolfman Jack."

In the American Graffiti movie "The Wolfman" served as a unifying thread to all the subplots and was mostly heard on the radio but seen briefly.

A typical teen next to the American Graffiti 32 Ford coupe.

It is a realistic portrayal of teens in 1962 with their cars, cool music, friendships, and relationships.

Where were you in '62?

It has plenty of action, but no blood and nasty language...and there is never a dull moment. There are multiple story lines and a great cast, but it never gets confusing.

If you have not seen American Graffiti buy the DVD and you will see how and why this film has become a cult classic.

Check out this movie trailer and then continue reading below the video.  

The American Graffiti movie can so immerse you in teenage cruising-to-rock-radio that you'll feel a part of it even when watching it for the umpteenth time...then be saddened by the passing of a bygone era until you watch it again.

It will bring back great memories of cars, pretty girls and street racing. A time that can never be repeated or duplicated.

They just don't make '55 Chevy's anymore.

A low budget movie with big box office returns.

The American Graffiti movie is fun to watch and definitely deserves having been voted as one of the American Film Institute's top 100 Films of All Time.

Produced by Academy Award winner Francis Ford Coppola and directed by George Lucas, American Graffiti transformed Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford into household names.

Although the film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (for 26 year old Candy Clark), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing, it came away empty-handed.

American Graffiti premiered in August, 1973 and became something of a surprise hit. At a cost of a reported $777,777.77 the movie would generate an estimated return of well over $200 million in box office receipts and home video sales.

The soundtrack album reached #10 in America and has been certified triple Platinum.


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All three albums released as a 2-record set and are now entirely out of print.

This is the Original Soundtrack released August 1973.


Second album titled "More American Graffiti" (MCA8007) released in 1975 with approval of George Lucas.


American Graffiti Vol. III (MCA8008) also issued by MCA in early 1976.


The real "Little Deuce Coupe" story includes video showing where this historic vehicle is located.  Read more.

Read the Little Deuce Coupe Story here.

The "Marcels" were named after a popular hairstyle of the day. A great song, a great group and the live video will have YOU dancing in the aisle. Read more...

Go to the Blue Moon page and join in on the fun.

Signed to the new Gordy label in 1962 this group recorded Berry Gordy Jr.'s "Do You Love Me," resulting in the group's (and label's) first hit. Read the story here.

Go to the Contours page and watch this exciting video with entire audience dancing.

Tucked between the 50s Doo Wop groups and the mid-60s British invasion was the phenomenon known as the Girl Groups.  Read More.

Girl Groups pages start here | Teen girl groups from the 50s to the 60s.



A true story of a teenage crush and how a young man was inspired to write his song about the girl he left behind.  Read more.

Go to The Fireflies page and watch this live-in-concert video of this wonderful old song.

The Fireflies 1959 song
"You Were Mine."

"Looking For An Echo" is street corner music with soul. A time when the ability to sing was mandatory. Read more.

Go to the Kenny Vance page to enjoy this wonderful song.

Listen to the original 45rpm recording of "The Locomotion" and watch the best dance version ever!  Read more.