American Graffiti

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.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min


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...


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.


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.


Hey, whadaya say? Curt? Last night in town, you guys gonna have a

little bash before you leave?

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

George Lucas

George Walton Lucas Jr. is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. Lucas is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as the founder of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. more…

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(2 fans)

Submitted by aviv on November 30, 2016

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    "American Graffiti" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <>.

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