- More American Graffiti
More American Graffiti
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bill L. Norton Produced by Howard Kazanjian
George Lucas (executive)
Written by Bill L. Norton Based on characters created by
Starring Candy Clark
Paul Le Mat
Charles Martin Smith
Cinematography Caleb Deschanel Editing by Tina Hirsch Studio Lucasfilm Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date(s) August 3, 1979 Running time 110 minutes Country United States Language English
Budget $3 million Box office $8.1 million
More American Graffiti is the 1979 sequel film to George Lucas's hit film American Graffiti. Whereas the first film followed a group of friends during the summer evening before they set off for college, this film shows us where the characters from the first film end up a few years later.
Most of the main cast members from the first film returned for the sequel, including Candy Clark, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, and Charles Martin Smith. Harrison Ford even makes a cameo appearance. Richard Dreyfuss was the only principal cast member from the original film not to appear in the sequel.
The film, set over the four consecutive New Year's Eves from 1964 to 1967 depicts scenes from each of these years, intertwined with one another as though events happen simultaneously. The audience is protected from confusion by the conceit of a distinct cinematic style for each section. For example, the 1966 sequences echo the movie of Woodstock using split screens and multiple angles of the same event simultaneously on screen, the 1965 sequences (set in Vietnam) shot hand-held on grainy super 16 mm film designed to resemble war reporters' footage. The film attempts to memorialize the 1960s with sequences that recreate the sense and style of those days with references to Haight-Ashbury, the campus peace movement, the beginnings of the modern woman's liberation movement and the accompanying social revolt. One character burned his draft card showing a younger audience what so many Americans had done on the television news ten years before the movie's release. Other characters are shown frantically disposing of their marijuana before a traffic stop as a police officer pulls them over, and another scene shows the police brutality with billy clubs during an anti-Vietnam protest.
The listed fates of the main characters at the ending sequence of American Graffiti were updated again at the end of this sequel. In More American Graffiti, John Milner was revealed to have been killed by a drunk driver in December 1964 (reminiscent of the death of James Dean in 1955, though the accident involving Dean did not involve a drunk driver), with the ending scene of the movie driving his trademark yellow Deuce at night along a lonely highway toward another vehicle's headlights, and is never seen going further, hinting that the crash was in that vicinity. Set on New Year's Eve 1964, it is never actually shown that his tragic end comes after his racing win on the last day of the year, very probably instead into the first few moments of 1965, given that the 1967 segment was just barely into 1968. The anniversary of John's death is mentioned in both the 1965 and 1966 sequences. Terry "The Toad" Fields' classification as "missing in action" is not explored in greater detail since the movie shows that he faked his own death. The ending sequence would have read "killed in action" had the story ended there. Terry is believed to be dead by his superiors in 1965 and by his friends – Debbie in 1966 and Steve and Laurie in 1967. Joe Young (the leader of "The Pharaohs"), Toad's war partner, vividly meets his death with a sniper's bullet to the chest in one scene after having promised to make Terry a Pharaoh once they get back from Vietnam.
The relationship of Steve and Laurie is strained by Laurie's insistence that she start her own career, though Steve forbids it saying he wants her to be a mom to their young twins. Free-spirited Debbie "Deb" Dunham has turned from Old Harper to marijuana and has given up her platinum blonde persona for a hippie/groupie one in a long, strange trip that ends with her performing with a country-and-western music group. Wolfman Jack briefly reprised his role, but in voice only. The drag racing scenes for More American Graffiti were filmed at the Fremont Raceway, later Baylands Raceway Park, in Fremont, California.
- Paul Le Mat as John Milner
- Cindy Williams as Laurie Henderson Bolander
- Candy Clark as Debbie Dunham
- Ron Howard as Steve Bolander
- Mackenzie Phillips as Carol / Rainbow
- Charles Martin Smith as Terry "The Toad" Fields
- Scott Glenn as Newt
- Mary Kay Place as Teensa
- Anna Bjorn as Eva
- Wolfman Jack as Himself
- Rosanna Arquette as Girl in Commune
- Jonathan Gries as Ron
- Naomi Judd as Girl on Bus
- Bo Hopkins as Little Joe
- Harrison Ford as Officer Bob Falfa
- Delroy Lindo as Army SSgt.
- John Lansing as Lance Harris
- Will Seltzer as Andy Henderson
- Monica Tenner as Moonflower
- Carol-Ann Williams as Viki Townsend
The movie was written and directed by Bill L. Norton who was picked by Lucas as being suitable due to his California upbringing and experience with comedy. Lucas was involved in the production by acting as the executive producer, editing both Norton's screenplay and the finished motion picture, and even manning a camera for sequences set in the Vietnam War.
The film also featured a thirty-three track soundtrack entitled More American Graffiti which has only been released in double Long Play album, 8-Track tape cartridge and cassette tape form (No CD). The soundtrack, originally released in 1979 as MCA2-11006, is long out of print, and featured music from the movie along with voice-over tracks of Wolfman Jack.
Another album, also entitled More American Graffiti, was an official album sequel to the first soundtrack to the film American Graffiti. The album (MCA 8007) was released in 1975, four years before the film sequel of the same name was released. While only one of the songs in this album was actually used in the 1973 motion picture this collection was compiled and approved by George Lucas for commercial release. In 1976 MCA Records released a third and final Various Artists double album set entitled: American Graffiti Vol. III (MCA 8008). Unike the first soundtrack album as well as it's sequel, American Graffiti Vol. III does not include Wolfman Jack dialogue.
More American Graffiti opened on August 3, 1979 grossed $8,100,000 in the United States. Despite its minor box office success, its gross was nowhere near as much as American Graffiti grossed.
Dale Pollack of Variety stated in his review that "More American Graffiti may be one of the most innovative and ambitious films of the last five years, but by no means is it one of the most successful."
- ^ "More American Graffiti – Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/1979/0MAG2.php.
- ^ "More American Graffit Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/more_american_graffiti/.
- ^ Pollock, Dale (1979-07-25). "More American Graffiti Review". Variety. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117793234.html?categoryid=31&cs=1.
- Official site
- More American Graffiti at the Internet Movie Database
- More American Graffiti at AllRovi
Films directed by Bill L. Norton 1970sCisco Pike (1972) · More American Graffiti (1979) 1980sBaby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985) · Three for the Road (1987) 1990s George Lucas filmography Films directed Produced1970sMore American Graffiti (1979)1980sKagemusha (1980) · Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) · Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) · Body Heat (1981; uncredited) · Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) · Twice Upon a Time (1983) · Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) · Latino (1985; uncredited) · Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) · Howard the Duck (1986) · Labyrinth (1986) · Captain EO (1986) · Star Tours (1987) · The Land Before Time (1988) · Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) · Powaqqatsi (1988) · Willow (1988) · Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)1990s2000sStar Wars: Clone Wars (TV series) (2003) · Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) · Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) · Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV series) (2008)2010sStar Tours: The Adventures Continue (2011) · Red Tails (2012) · Star Wars (TV series) (TBA) Shorts Related
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