In a way i think it was a stroke of film & storytelling genius to add that. At the opening of the movie he isn’t sure about leaving for college. Funny, sad, everything in between. Alternate Ending was formed when three friends realized they all shared a passion for movies. When the movie opens Steve is eager to leave town. It wasn’t until then that I realized just how sad and depressing of a movie American Graffiti really is. What happened to loveable Toad? Richard Dreyfuss American Graffiti #9 (the ending) - YouTube The actors all seemed to really know each other for years as friends really would. Yes, but to be honest the LESS said about More American Graffiti the better. How’s that for fun? Too many film sites cater to the same kind of audience, with one overwhelming voice in the writing, but what we treasure at Alternate Ending is diversity: diversity of opinion, diversity in belief about what film should do and how it should do it. Covering Movies, Television and Other Life Altering Issues. The movie takes place in 1962. Terry is repeating his belief in a normal, “way things are”, but the whole movie has been about dismantling that kind of certainty, and the metaphor of dawn (which is surely not being used very subtly anywhere in this scene) is simply underlining that this is a time for new things and forward movement. Maybe he should play it safe and stay in town for a year or two. It’s of a stopped car, not a moving one; the people involved are facing away from us; and instead of being at the very beginning of night, it’s at the first light of morning. Last we have Curt (Richard Dreyfuss). It’s also very, very sad. American Graffiti was a brilliant movie that accurately depicted my youth. That wouldn’t be too terrible except the movie’s epilogue tells us how Steve is now an insurance agent…in Modesto. It's a place that believes that every great movie is a wonderful new treasure, whether you see it the night of its premiere or fifty years later. It’s very good. There are bittersweet memories I have of that era….that time and place….And so the ending of that movie just shows ‘life’….and…’death’ too. A group of friends spend one last night as summer vacation ends, each of them dealing with some sort of dilemma - whether major, like doubts about leaving home for college, or minor, like getting a date with a cute girl. ( Log Out /  This is not, maybe, the most singularly convenient time to start gushing about a film that I have always loved rather more than it’s perhaps fashionable to do, but it’s a real triumph of a certain strain of independent filmmaking: a better example of doing more with less you’ll rarely find, and both the cinematography and sound design (especially the sound design) are as legitimately creative and complex and even revolutionary as anything else going on in American cinema in the amazingly fecund first half of the 1970s. Oh sure, there’s some fun to be had here and there with a group of teenagers out all night cruising in 1962 Modesto, CA. What makes Alternate Ending different from other film sites and podcasts? He tells the guys he’s going to wait a year and then head out so he can be with Laurie. Rob, the film-school dropout, has seen an absurd amount of movies, and if we’re being honest, rounds out our Fight Club fan-base. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Lake County Film Festival Film Spotlight: Love is Not Love, directed by Stephen Keep Mills. Honored to be covering and judging this year's Lake County Film Festival happening November 4-16! The whole Milner story is soaked in melancholy but that’s not enough. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. He has said that Toad, Milner and Curt all represent different aspects of his own experience as a teenager. It reminds us of how fragile life is and how quickly it can end. Setting it in 1962 shows the United States on its last ‘innocent’ night out as well. So why would you go to Canada in between those years? What George Lucas Achieved With American Graffiti - YouTube Meanwhile, an outsider with fast ride of his own (Harrison Ford) is looking to challenge him. Some fun times abound. Even the idea of setting the movie in 1962 is sad. He was report missing in action near An Loc in 1965. Well, let’s do some deductive reasoning here. The two teens, Terry the Toad (Charles Martin Smith) and John Milner (Paul Le Mat) are talking about the race Milner just won by default; he’s angry and depressed, while Terry is bubbling over trying to convince him that everything is all right, but this comes off as very silly and trivial and not entirely convincing, given how much at odds it is with all of the emotional journeys that have just wrapped up. In the end Milner wins the inevitable showdown but feels like he’s lost. Toad’s story is definitely the funniest and at the end his girl tells him she’d love to see him again. We want to celebrate our different opinions, and celebrate yours as well. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The movie is by his own admission somewhat autobiographical. Finally, a win right? So did I. It’s an excellent, realistic, and sad movie, yes. It is one of my all time favorite movies. Thanks! I vagally remember the Kennedy assignation a year later. I remember my parents had a large framed painting of Kennedy hanging in the dining room. When you think of the 1970’s classic American Graffiti, what comes to mind? Too many film sites cater to the same kind of audience, with one overwhelming voice in the writing, but what we treasure at Alternate Ending is diversity: diversity of opinion, diversity in belief about what film should do and how it should do it. It’s almost as if by killing off one of his main characters, and sending another one M.I.A., Lucas was … Nice. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. For more Hollywood history check out my podcast The Industry here. Curt’s story is my personal favorite and after a night of hanging out with local street toughs, The Pharaohs, he decides to head off to college. Meeting up with their friends Terry "The Toad" Fields (Charles Martin Smith) and the older guy John Milner (Paul Le Mat), they start dinner at dusk at a drive-in restaurant before parting ways to … The actors all seemed to really know each other for years as friends really would. This isn't a site for people who just want to talk about the latest hot new movies in theaters right this minute. It is weird, fantastical, and out-of-the-box, but it is also true.”. It is weird, fantastical, and out-of-the-box, but it is also true.”. We find out in the epilogue that Curt is now a writer living in Canada. Milner spends the movie stuck with a teenybopper in his car who won’t leave (Mackenzie Phillips). And almost every time that it appears in a Western – think the last shot of The Searchers – it’s implying a bittersweet sense of passing away. This beautiful but also detached and melancholy frame is, to me, the perfect embodiment of that feeling. Milner has graduated already by at least a year and is still cruising around Modesto looking for chicks. I think it says, “Being a kid in ‘62 was fun but it was never going to last.”. He spends the movie trying to impress a girl he picked up (Candy Clark) and gets into all sorts of nonsense along the way. Lake County Film Festival Film Spotlight: Love is Not Love, directed by Stephen Keep Mills. I don’t think it’s crazy to think that Curt is a draft dodger, writing it up in Toronto somewhere. And that forward movement isn’t, to a great degree, going to involve the old Terry or old John who (spoilers again) will both be dead within three years. Take some time off. Error: Twitter did not respond. That’s exactly the feeling of this moment at the end of American Graffiti: the night is over, the day is beginning, and the time for being a child for whom cruising, sex, and music are the be-all and end-all of life has ended. He can sense his own meaningless existence more than he’d like to admit. American Graffiti takes place in what feels like real time between one evening and sunup of the next morning in California 1962. Aside from the apparent homosexuality essence, the theme of 'Life imitating art' is incredibly transcendental in this movie. American Graffiti depicts the end of summer: it's the last night in town for teenagers Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve Bolander (Ron Howard), who are set to go out east for college in the morning. He’s aware that he’s getting older and going no where. Get your tickets now ➡️. I think there’s a real specific reason for choosing 1962. When it’s over though, there is no denying that this one depressing experience. Go to junior college. That’s right, Curt gets on the plane at the end takes a chance on life! Well, we’re not 5 dudes in a room talking about our passion for Fight Club and Braveheart. I found this page by googling “American graffiti is sad” because it’s 1am and I just saw it for the first time and now I’m all bummed out!! His night is spent looking for a blonde in a white Thunderbird he sees at the beginning of his story. The oldest and saddest of the group is hot rodder John Milner (Paul Le Mat). That's because Spontaneous is honest. Yeah, that’s right, he’s dead. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page. Crazy kids out all night having a good time? The movie was as ‘real’ as a film could get. Things aren’t looking so bad. ( Log Out /  Our goal is to save you time and money by sharing our thoughts and recommendations on which movies to race to theaters for, which to watch at home and those to actively avoid. I also suspected that Curt ended up in Canada to avoid the draft and Vietnam. Get your tickets now ➡️. Change ). He thinks she say “I love you,” and that’s enough to change his entire life. It's a site about discovering good movies... one bad movie at a time. There are bittersweet memories I have of that era….that time and place….And so the ending of that movie just shows ‘life’….and…’death’ too. The movie was as ‘real’ as a film could get. Join us for our weekly review of movies worth seeing, worth avoiding and our Top 5 lists – and don’t forget to play along at, Support your favorite podcast through leaving a rating or review - it goes such a long way in helping them grow! This beautiful but also detached and melancholy frame … Thanks for your thoughts. Hollywood Century, 1973: In which fresh cinematic modernism is used for rampant nostalgia, and all the New Hollywood kids are pals with each other, The posters and trailers for the 1973 release, Alternate Ending was formed when three friends realized they all shared a passion for movies. ( Log Out /  Then that epilogue pops up. Almost. In the end, Steve decides NOT to go. American Graffiti is obviously near and dear to George Lucas’ heart, and rooted in his adolescence as a car-crazed kid, but it views its characters from an anthropological distance all the same. Carrie, our casual movie-goer, reminds us all that cinema is in fact supposed to be fun and entertaining and that sometimes, just sometimes, happy endings are good. He was browbeaten in that last night and gave up on his dreams. Cast : Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Screenplay : George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck, “Spontaneous is a lot. Youre exactly right when you think about it.

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