Zach learns all about the coming of age films, music, and making a film personal as he examines the 1973 classic, American Graffiti.

From director George Lucas (Star Wars) and producer Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), American Graffiti is a classic coming-of-age story set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins and rock n’ roll. Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and Suzanne Somers in their breakout roles, this nostalgic look back follows a group of teenagers as they cruise the streets on their last summer night before college. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, American Graffiti features the howling sounds of Wolfman Jack and an unforgettable soundtrack with songs by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and Bill Haley & His Comets.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Yeah I will always remember my dad telling me about the first time gas crossed 0.30 / L – when I started driving it was 0.80 / L

    Now, with gas at 1.45 / L, driving is a necessity for my wife for her work. I take the bus or walk, unless I absolutely have to. Gas is insane. No cruising here.

  2. I think there are films you can make a case for as coming of age movies every now and then, though as a rule of thumb they seem to have significantly lower profiles than your American Grafittis or Breakfast Clubs.

    Some modern favourites of mine that I would argue for as coming of age movies (at least partly) are Bridge to Terabithia(2007), The Wackness (2008), It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010) and The Way Way Back (2013).

    • I sorta agree with “Bridge to Terabithia” even though I refuse to watch it again. I don’t think it is bad or anything, it just makes me cry when the one thing happens (yeah, we’re past the point where it would be a spoiler, but I don’t even want to type it or I might tear up).

  3. Funny that this got reviewed when I’m sitting here wondering if now that Disney is reworking the Star Wars EU if they’ll have “Alien Exodus” (a cancelled novel that would have made this movie, “Star Wars” and “Willow” all one shared timeline by way of time travel by the descendants of characters from this movie) dusted off and printed as canon.

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