First Preview: January 28, 1973, Northpoint Theater, San Francisco, CA
Second Preview: May 15, 1973, Writer’s Guild Theater, Beverly Hills, CA
Released by Universal Studios: August 1, 1973
Runtime: Original release: 110min ~ Re-release (1978) 112min

A reflection of George Lucas’ years as a teenager growing up in Modesto, California in the early ‘60s, American Graffiti personifies the time in a young man’s life when high school is over and he must decide about his future. Filmed almost entirely at night, this coming-of-age story set in September, 1962, evolves around four longtime friends, two of whom intend to leave for college the following day. Especially significant is the film’s portrayal of teenagers who cruise the main drag in their cars and hot rods, a ‘50s and early ‘60s ritual that took place not only in Modesto, but also in Petaluma and in “Everytown, U.S.A.”.

Just as in American Graffiti, many of Mr. Lucas’ films are based on the transitional time in a person’s life when a decision must be made to make a major change; and the bravery behind that decision to take the “first step” into the unknown.

In its original release, Universal Studios cut the following three scenes from the film that after the success of Star Wars in 1978, Mr. Lucas added to the re-release:
  • Used car salesman sitting in the big rocking chai
  • Steve tells off Mr. Krook (Marblehead) at the Freshman Hop
  • Falfa sings Some Enchanted Evening to Laurie

Director and writer --- George Lucas
Screenwriters --- Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck
Producers --- Francis Ford Coppola & Gary Kurtz
Visual Consultant --- Haskell Wexler
Directors of Photography  --- Jan D'Alquen & Ron Eveslage
Sound Montage & Re-recording --- Walter Murch
Trans. Supervisor/Car --- GuruHenry Travers
Editors -- Verna Fields & Marcia Lucas
Production Designer --- Dennis Lynton Clark
Set Designer --- Douglas Freeman
Costume Designer --- Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Casting --- Fred Roots & Mike Fenton
First Assistant Director --- Ned Kopp
Lighting Gaffer --- Bill Maley

Curt Henderson --- Richard Dreyfuss
Steve Bolander --- Ron Howard
John Milner --- Paul Le Mat
Terry 'The Toad' Fields --- Charles Martin Smith
Laurie Henderson --- Cindy Williams
Debbie Dunham --- Candy Clark
Carol --- Mackenzie Phillips
XERB Disc Jockey --- Wolfman Jack
Joe Young --- Bo Hopkins
Carlos --- Manuel Padilla, Jr.
Ants --- Beau Gentry
Bob Falfa --- Harrison Ford
Officer Holstein --- Jim Bohan
Budda Macrae --- Jana Bellan
Wendy --- Deby Celiz
Bobbie Tucker --- Lynne Marie Stewart
Mr. Bill Wolfe --- Terence McGovern
Peggy --- Kathleen Quinlan
Eddie --- Tim Crowley
Mr. Gordon --- Scott Beach
Car Salesman --- John Brent
Bozo --- Gordon Analla
Station Attendant --- John Bracci
Girl in Studebaker --- Jody Carlson
Guy at Bar --- Del Close
Man at Accident --- Chuck Dorsett
Kid at Accident --- Stephen Knox
Man at Liquor Store --- Joe Miksak
Bum at Liquor Store --- George Meyer
Liquor Store Thief --- James Cranna
Badass #1 --- Johnny Weissmuller Jr.
Badass #2 --- Rick Boom
Clerk at Liquor Store --- William Niven
Hank Anderson --- Al Nalbandian
Dale --- Bob Pasaak
Al --- Chris Pray
Judy --- Susan Richardson
Ferber --- Fred Ross
Old Woman --- Jan Dunn
Old Man --- Charlie Murphy
Kip Pullman --- Ed Greenberg
Girl in Dodge --- Lisa Herman
Mr. Kroot --- Irving Israel
Jane, Girl at Dance --- Kay Ann Kemper
Announcer at Dance --- Caprice Schmidt
Vic --- Joe Spano
Bob Falfa's Girl --- Debralee Scott
Jeff --- Ron Vincent
Carhop --- Donna Wehr
Balloon Girl --- Cam Whitman
Girl at Dance --- Jan Wilson
Blonde in T-Bird --- Suzanne Somers
Girl --- Linda Christensen
Herby & The Heartbeats --- Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids: Warren Knight, Sam McFadin,
Kris Moe, Linn Phillips III, George Robinson

Best 100 films --- American Film Institute
Best Picture --- Golden Globe Award
Most Promising Newcomer --- Paul Le Mat, Golden Globe Award
Bronze Leopard --- Locarno International Film Festival
Best Screenplay --- National Film Preservation Board
National Film Registry --- National Film Preservation Board
Academy Award Nominee --- Best Picture
Academy Award Nominee --- Candy Clark, Supporting Actress
Academy Award Nominee --- George Lucas, Director
Academy Award Nominee --- Gloria Katz & William Huyck, Screenplay
Academy Award Nominee --- Verna Fields & Marcia Lucas, Editing