American Graffiti Trivia
- License plate on John Milner's car is "THX-138". THX 1138 (1971) is a film also directed by George Lucas. This number plate is on display inside 'The Main House' of Lucas Film's Head
Office at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County.
Ford was asked to cut his hair for the film. He refused,
stating that his role was too short, and offered to wear a hat instead.
- The '55 Chevy Bob Falfa drove is the same '55 Chevy used in the movie Two-Lane
- They actually used 3 1955 Chevrolets in the film: the "hot rod" version that
is seen the most, a car for interior camera shots, and one for the rollover after the drag
race. Both the "hot rod" '55 and the 1932 Ford coupe were bought from the studio
by an individual in Overland Park, Kansas in the mid-1980's who restored them back to
their movie appearance.
- When Charles
Martin Smith pulls up on the Vespa in the beginning, his
crash into the building wasn't scripted. He genuinely lost control of the bike, and Lucas
kept the cameras rolling.
- The Ford Coupe driven by Paul Le Mat's character had a
1966 Chevy 327 engine. The black 1955 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford had a Chevy 454 engine capable of 11-second quarter-mile times.
- The owner of the Thunderbird was never more than a few feet away from his prized
possession during filming, and was always wiping here and shining there. He also drove Suzanne
Somers crazy telling her what to do and what not to do.
- The Mel's Drive-in restaurant in the movie had been closed and was reopened specifically
for filming. It was demolished after the movie was completed.
- About 300 pre-1962 cars were needed to create the cruising scenes, and over a thousand
car buffs who responded to ads in the local newspapers were interviewed.
- There is a rumor that while George Lucas and a co-worker
were editing the film, the co-worker asked Lucas for "reel two, dialogue two",
which abbreviated to R2-D2, a name which surfaced in Lucas' later film, Star Wars (1977).
- Screenwriters Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz wanted an additional title card at the end detailing the fates of the women, but
Lucas refused, arguing it would prolong the ending.
- The soundtrack was originally to consist of some 80 classic rock and roll songs from the
1950s and '60s, but the budget couldn't stretch far enough to get licenses to afford that
many. It was eventually whittled down to 45, with the Elvis Presley songs left out.
The film was previewed before an audience of young people in Northpoint Theater, San
Francisco, on a Sunday morning with Universal Studios rep Ned Tanen in attendance. In a story that is now legendary in Hollywood, Tanan was not
impressed with the film, despite a good audience reaction, and called it
"unreleasable". Francis Ford Coppola, enraged at
the comment, offered to buy the film from Universal (some stories claim he offered to
- write the check then and there) while the exhausted, burned-out and ill George Lucas watched in shock. A compromise was finally reached whereby Universal could
"suggest" modifications to the movie, a resolution Lucas was not happy with, as
it took control of the film away from him.
Jack, who played himself, was specifically chosen by George Lucas to play a role in the movie because Lucas remembered listening to him on the
radio when Lucas was in high school.
- When the rear wheels/axle of Holstein's police car get yanked out by the cable, there is
a movie theater in the background. The movie on the marquee is Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 (1963).
- In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #62 Greatest Movie of All Time.