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AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) ***

Everyone knows that George Lucas made a ka-jillion dollars with the Star Wars movies, but this is the flick that put him on the map.  It’s all about a varied assortment of teens riding around and cruising for chicks in 1962 while listening to a great soundtrack of oldies.  Since it was an enormous hit, it’s been ripped off of countless times in everything from Hollywood Knights to Porky’s to Dazed and Confused.  Although American Graffiti is nowhere near as good as Star Wars, I still think it’s a fun little movie.

 

Since the flick has virtually no plot, it just sorta ambles along at a leisurely pace and goes nowhere.  There are also some long mundane stretches in there too that bogs things down.  Whenever the movie starts getting slow, one of the actors will step up and do something funny and the flick will right itself.

 

The cast is great and features Ron Howard (who went on to direct Willow for Lucas), Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Paul LeMat, Suzanne ("Before I had a Thigh Master") Somers, Mackenzie (“I have daddy issues") Phillips, and Harrison (“I owe my career to old Georgie Porgy”) Ford.  If American Graffiti was fun to watch in the 70’s to reminisce about the good old days, it’s more fun now to see all these famous people back when they were all fresh faced newcomers.  Most everyone in the cast returned six years later for the Lucas produced sequel, More American Graffiti; a flick that everyone generally seems to hate but I happen to like quite a bit.

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