Reviewed by: Alyssa Gentzyel

American Graffiti, directed by George Lucas, is a coming of age drama-comedy about a group of friends enjoying their night out finding girls, going for drives, eating dinner, and racing their cool cars. The group of friends are enjoying their last day of summer before leaving for college.

This movie does a spectacular job of capturing the American Youth of the sixties. It shows the freedom of kids going for drives in their cars, meeting girls, attempting to get access to alcohol, and just having fun. The sound track to this movie also helps capture the time by playing music like “Rock around the Clock” (by Bill Haley and His Comets) at the school dance or “At the Hop” (by Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids). This music does a perfect job of playing the songs that teens and young adults listen to on a daily basis.


The two main characters Curt (acted by Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve (acted by Ron Howard) meet up with John (acted by Paul Le Mat) and Terry (acted by Charles Martin Smith). John Milner is the drag-racing king of the town and the group of friends race and have a great night spending some time at Mel’s Drive–In diner. These actors did a great job of adding the perfect amount of awkwardness as one may expect from a high school grad who still doesn’t know what the next step is. This movie shows the conflict that teens graduating high school face.  For example contemplating on what they want to do next should I go to college or stay here and get a job?  Curt is on the fence about wanting to leave for school even though he received a scholarship, he spends his night contemplating what he wants to do. Steve takes these changes with a positive attitude and is ready to head off to school even though it means leaving is girlfriend behind.

This movie does not really have a plot line to it. There was no purpose to the film other than to show the life of a kid in this time period. There was no end goal to the movie, but despite this, the movie is surprisingly good. The director George Lucas did a great job of creating a movie idea that would normally be pretty boring and turned it into a best seller.


This movie is accurately rated, receiving a rating of PG and appropriate for anyone with some Parental Guidance for the younger kids. The movie has a little bit of PDA but not enough for it to be unacceptable for a younger people to watch. There is also a scene where one of the boys asks someone outside a gas station to buy him alcohol; he ends up receiving the alcohol but it’s nothing too bad. There is not really any drug use in the film. This movie is acceptable for any age. I think anybody could find enjoyment in this movie. The older crowd might reflect back to their youth while watching this movie. The young kids might start looking forward to their teen years, and teens can relate to what is happening. Although any age group can find entertainment in this film I think teens and young adults will enjoy it the most. American Graffiti is an entertaining movie for anyone and I would recommend going to see it.