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Richard Dreyfuss American Graffiti #1 (the beginning)

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Uploaded on Aug 5, 2008

American Graffiti is a 1973 period coming of age comedy-drama film directed by George Lucas, and written by Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford. Set in 1962 Modesto, California, American Graffiti tells of the exploits and adventures of a group of teenagers during a night of cruising around town and listening to pirate radio personality Wolfman Jack.

Development of the film started shortly after the release of Lucas's THX 1138 in 1971, at the same time as Lucas was developing an "untitled science fiction space opera", later to become the basis for Star Wars. The film was initially funded by United Artists, but after creative differences arose with the studio, Lucas decided to work with Universal Pictures instead. Filming started at San Rafael, California, but the production was kicked out of the town and most of the film was shot in Petaluma, California. Although Universal interfered little with production, it did object to the film's title of American Graffiti, recommending Lucas change it to Another Slow Night in Modesto.

The editing of American Graffiti was strenuous: the first cut was roughly 210 minutes long, and the final cut was released at 112 minutes. To this day the location of the other 100 minutes of footage remains unknown. The film received positive reviews and was a unanimous box office success (recouping 92 times its budget with its North American financial take). The film was nominated for five different categories at the 46th Academy Awards, and in 1995, American Graffiti was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and was added to the National Film Registry for preservation.

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