HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  American Graffiti Where Were You In '62?
Year: 1973
Director: George Lucas
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins, Manuel Padilla Jr, Beau Gentry, Harrison Ford, Jim Bohan, Jana Bellan, Deby Celiz, Kathleen Quinlan, Joe Spano
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: It's the last summer night before friends Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve (Ron Howard) are to leave on a plane for college the next morning, and Curt is having reservations about leaving his Californian smalltown home behind. Steve can't believe what he's hearing, and implores him to pull himself together and seize this opportunity. As Steve is going away, he asks the local nerd Terry (Charles Martin Smith), known as Terry the Toad in spite of his protests, to look after his expensive car and Terry is delighted with the responsibility, not being able to wait until he can give up his motor scooter and drive around in a real car. However, he really needs a girl to go with it; Steve on the other hand is in the process of rejecting his childhood sweetheart...

If all George Lucas had directed had been science fiction movies, it would be easy to say he had no feeling for character at all, relying on his actors to bring their roles to life - or not, as the case may have been. Yet there's American Graffiti in his C.V., his first big hit (within the U.S.A., at any rate) and the most human of his films even if it still trades in nostalgia as his Star Wars films did. It may be a catalogue of high spirited adventures over one night in 1962, but a sense of melancholy develops, a sense of lost times that later historical events stole the innocence from.

If it had been made by anyone else, American Graffiti might well have been a brash, gaudy comedy full of dumb jokes and bright colours, but in writer and director Lucas' hands it takes place largely in darkness, and opts for a more realistic approach. Never mind that there's a lot of plot convenience to contrive a story that makes all these things happen in a single evening, you don't think about that until after the film has finished; while it's playing you're just along for the ride, as Debbie (Candy Clark) is when she gets picked up by the somewhat desperate Terry, flattered that he thinks she looks like Connie Stevens.

There are four separate plots going on here, all expertly edited together by Verna Fields and Marcia Lucas under the director's supervision, as Curt notices a beautiful blonde in a car who mouths "I love you" towards him, speeds off, and becomes his obsession for the night, and Steve and girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams) fall out when he selfishly suggests that they see other people when they're at college (they're now adults, after all). Meanwhile, the older cool kid John (Paul Le Mat) unintentionally picks up a thirteen year old girl, Carol (Mackenzie Phillips), when he was really looking for someone more mature, and embarrassedly has to explain her presence to anyone who asks by saying he's babysitting.

There are plenty of clever and even touching character moments in the script by Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Hyuck that endear the cast to the viewer, so you don't need to have gone through the experience to enjoy it. Carol shouting "Your car's as ugly as I am!" to would-be racer Harrison Ford, or keen to impress Terry describing himself as being called "Terry the Tiger" are two of many. The film is perhaps now more famous for the careers it launched than on its own terms, but there's a unifying element to the night, and that's the radios blaring out Wolfman Jack's show, with wall to wall oldies, all perfectly chosen, plus he makes an appearance at the end, sort of, to help out the lovelorn Curt. Yet Lucas, as in his other films, tends to rely on the personalities of his cast - who are excellent - to win you over, and there's a feeling he's keeping them at arm's length as if they're subjects of a documentary about a distant, golden era. Followed by a sequel that the epilogue hints at.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7958 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: