American Graffiti is a 1973 film which is George Lucas's paean to the innocence of the early 1960s. Written by Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, it tells the story of a group of small-town middle-class American California teenagers on the last night of the summer. It starred Richard Dreyfuss (Curt Henderson), Ron Howard (Steve Bolander), Paul Le Mat (John Milner), Charles Martin Smith (Terry Fields), Candy Clark, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford. It also featured the disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Suzanne Somers had a small but notable part as the blonde in the Thunderbird.

The film focuses on vignettes about the 4 young men: Curt, Steve, Terry, and John. Curt isn't sure he wants to go off to college, despite receiving a lodge scholarship, much to Steve's consternation. Steve, on the other hand, isn't sure about his relationship with steady girlfriend Laurie, Curt's sister. Curt spends the whole night riding around in other people's cars obsessing about a mysterious blonde in a White Thunderbird.

John splits his time between trying to pick up girls and defending his reputation as the fastest drag racer in town. Terry uses Steve's car to pick up a girl.

The movie gained some of its popularity through its music, see American Graffiti (soundtrack).

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

Ironically, by the end of the night it's Curt who goes off to college, while Steve decides to stay in town and settle down with Laurie.

The film was nominated for several Academy Awards:

The film is included in the National Film Registry.

The unexpected success of this film helped to inspire ABC to give the green light for the television series Happy Days, which also starred Ron Howard and Cindy Williams.

See Also: List of movies - List of actors - List of directors - List of documentaries - List of Hollywood movie studios