American Graffiti script
Synopsis: On the last day of summer vacation in 1962, friends Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve (Ronny Howard), Terry (Charles Martin Smith) and John (Paul Le Mat) cruise the streets of small-town California while a mysterious disc jockey (Wolfman Jack) spins classic rock'n'roll tunes. It's the last night before their grown-up lives begin, and Steve's high-school sweetheart, a hot-to-trot blonde, a bratty adolescent and a disappearing angel in a Thunderbird provide all the excitement they can handle.

RADIO:

On a dark screen an immense amber light appears and an electric

humming begins. The eerie light glows brighter and illuminates a

single huge number--11. We hear static and a large vertical band

of red floats mysteriously across the screen.

Pulling back slowly, we watch the glowing band traverse back and

forth over the amber light and past more numbers appearing--

70...90...110...130. And we begin to hear voices--strange songs,

fading conversations and snatches of music drifting with static.

Pulling back further, we realize it is a car radio filling the

screen and radio stations we're hearing, until the indicator

stops. There's a pause...and suddenly we are hit by a blasting-

out-of-the-past, Rocking and Rolling, turn-up-the-volume,

pounding Intro to a Vintage 1962 Golden Week-End Radio Show--back

when things were simpler and the music was better.

And now a wolf howl shatters through time as the legendary

Wolfman Jack hits the airwaves, his gravel voice shrieking and

growling while the music pumps and grinds...

WOLFMAN:

Awwrigght, baay-haay-baay! I got a oldie for ya--gonna knock ya

right on de flowa--baay-haay-hee-baay!

The Wolfman howls like a soulful banshee as "Rock Around the

Clock" blasts forth.

MEL'S DRIVE-IN--DUSK

A neon drive-in casts long shadows across a vast parking lot as

the sun drops behind a distant hill. A large neon sign buzzes in

the foreground...MEL'S DRIVE-IN, while in the background, "Rock

Around The Clock" blares from the radio of a beautiful decked and

channeled, white with red trim, tuck-and-rolled '58 Chevy Impala

that glides into the drive-in. Main titles appear over action.

Steve Bolander stops the elegant machine and gets out. He looks

around, then walks to the front of the car and leans against the

flame-covered hood. Steve is eighteen, good-looking in a

conservative, button-down, short-sleeved shirt. Most likely to

succeed, president of his graduating class. He looks around the

empty drive-in, then hears a funny little horn.

A Vespa scooter bumps into the lot. A young kid waves at him--and

suddenly grabs the handlebars again as the scooter nearly

topples. Terry Fields ("The Toad") maneuvers the scooter next to

Steve's Chevy but misjudges and ricochets off the trash can

before stopping. Terry grins sheepishly. He's seventeen, short

but plenty loud, both vocally and sartorically in his pink and

black shirt, levis, and white bucks. He looks slightly ridiculous

but always thinks he's projecting an air of supercool.

Steve watches Terry smooth back his shiny ducktail and primp his

waterfall to a perfect cascade over his forehead. He unbuttons

his shirt one more button and lowers his pants to look tough.

Terry walks over and leans against the flamed car, imitating

Steve who pays him no mind. In the background, we hear the

Wolfman howling with the music. The record ends and a barrage of

humor begins from Wolfman Jack. The Wolfman is an unseen

companion to all the kids. Witty and knowledgeable about the

trivia that counts, he's their best friend, confidant, and

guardian angel.

Now, a grey, insect-like Citroen deux-chevaux putters into the

parking lot and stops on the other side of the lot. Steve and

Terry watch Curt Henderson get out.

Curt stands by his little car. He's seventeen, a curly

bespectacled, scraggly kid with a summer-grown moustache and a

paperback stuck in his bermuda shorts. Curt thinks of himself as

the town cynic. In reality, he's a hopeless romantic. He starts

over to his buddies.

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George Lucas

George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver. However, a terrible car accident just after his high school graduation ended that dream permanently. The accident changed his views on life. He decided to attend Modesto Junior College before enrolling in the University of Southern California film school. As a film student, he made several short films including THX-1138: 4EB (Electronic Labyinth) which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival. In 1967, he was awarded a scholarship by Warner Brothers to observe the making of Finian's Rainbow (1968) which was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas and Coppola became good friends and formed American Zoetrope in 1969. The company's first project was Lucas' full-length version of THX 1138 (1971). In 1971, Coppola went into production for The Godfather (1972), and Lucas formed his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd. In 1973, he wrote and directed the semiautobiographical American Graffiti (1973) which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations. This gave him the clout he needed for his next daring venture. From 1973 to 1974, he began writing the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). He was inspired to make this movie from Flash Gordon and the Planet of the Apes films. In 1975, he established I.L.M. (Industrial Light and Magic) to produce the visual effects needed for the movie. Another company called Sprocket Systems was established to edit and mix Star Wars and later becomes known as Skywalker Sound. His movie was turned down by several studios until 20th Century Fox gave him a chance. Lucas agreed to forego his directing salary in exchange for 40% of the film's box-office take and all merchandising rights. The movie went on to break all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards. It redefined the term "blockbuster". The rest is history. Lucas made the other Star Wars films and along with Steven Spielberg created the Indiana Jones series which made box office records of their own. From 1980 to 1985, Lucas was busy with the construction of Skywalker Ranch, built to accommodate the creative, technical, and administrative needs of Lucasfilm. Lucas also revolutionized movie theatres with the T.H.X. System which was created to maintain the highest quality standards in motion picture viewing. He went on to make several more movies that have introduced major innovations in film-making technology. He is chairman of the board of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. In 1992, George Lucas was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his life-time achievement. more…

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