Can you answer these questions about the movie American Graffiti?

By: J.Reinoehl
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

American Graffiti was nominated for five Academy Awards as it realistically portrayed coming of age at the intersection of the 1950s and 1960s decades. How well do you remember American Graffiti? Find out by taking the quiz below.

The film primarily depicted what culture of the 50s and 60s?

George Lucas grew up when the Cruising culture was at its height. He discovered in college that "cruising" was a "uniquely American mating ritual involving automobiles."

What was the name of the D. J. who frequently was heard over the radio tying the film together?

Wolfman Jack was cast as himself in the movie. He was the D. J. of choice in Lucas' hometown.

Why was Laurie mad at Steve?

"…I thought that maybe before I leave that we could agree that seeing other people while I'm away can't possibly hurt, you know? … I think it would strengthen our relationship."

Richard Dreyfuss played which character?

Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) was given his choice of the two main characters and picked Curt because he felt he identified more with the character. Although American Graffiti was nominated for several awards, Richard Dreyfuss has only been nominated twice: for The Goodbye Girl (1977), which he won, and Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), which he didn't win.

What color was John's cruiser?

John's yellow car was a 1931 Ford Coupe. It was so difficult to film clear night shots at that point in time that Lucas had to give in and hire a visual consultant to help. Wexler added interior lights to the vehicles and asked stores to leave their lights on, but he was shooting commercials in Los Angeles during the day and had to fly to San Francisco each night.

Who did Steve give his car to temporarily?

George Lucas based Terry the Toad off of himself in his pre-driving years (14-15 years old). However, he most identified with Curt because that was the character who went away to college like he did.

What organization gave Curt a $2000 scholarship?

"He says he's sorry it's so late, but it's the first scholarship the Moose Lodge has given out."

What was the name of the girl Toad picked up?

"What's your name?" "Debbie. You know, I always thought I looked like Sandra Dee."

What kind of alcohol did Toad try to buy?

Marketed off and on throughout history as Old Harper, I. W. Harper is bourbon whiskey that has been produced since 1872. During Prohibition, the company was one of ten allowed to produce whiskey legally for medicinal use.

The guy who tossed the bottle of liquor to Toad also did what?

The guy Toad finally convinced to buy him liquor ended up robbing the store. George Lucas had a difficult time getting a company to back his script. Many felt its musical montage style and its loosely connected plot would not do well in theaters.

Around which diner did the teens flock?

Mels Drive-In was a California chain restaurant. In the movie, as on the original diners, "Mels" did not have the possessive apostrophe. The Mels seen in the film was at 140 South Van Ness in San Francisco, but has since been torn down.

John and Carol got into an argument over what type of music?

"Why'd you do that?" "I don't like that surfin' [music]. Rock and roll's been goin' downhill ever since Buddy Holly died."

Who played Bob Falfa?

Harrison Ford had given up on acting because he had a family to support by the time this movie was cast. He had taken up working as a carpenter to take care of them.

What was the name of the gang that accosted Curt?

"You know Toby Juarez? … He's a Pharaoh, isn't he?"

Why was Steve initially reluctant to call Laurie after their first date?

"You were scared. Dave Ogler told me."

How did the Pharaohs get money for gas?

The Pharaohs robbed a pinball machine at a miniature golf course for the gas money. When George Lucas spent the $10,000 a studio gave him on a writer for a script that was not what he envisioned, he ended up having to rewrite the script himself and did it in three weeks. Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck helped him polish the script and develop the central plotline between Steve and Laurie right before production began.

On the walk back to town, what did Debbie keep talking about?

"So, anyhows, the goat killer… whenever he strikes, he leaves a bloody goat's head next to the victim. Isn't that creepy?"

Curt spent the night wanting to chase a girl driving what kind of car?

Suzanne Somers, cast as the woman in the white Thunderbird, arrived at the call and found what seemed like 200 other blondes sitting there. The interview was so short she figured she must have been passed over for another actress. She said she was relieved that her agent had bumped her to the front of the line and she wouldn't have to pay for parking or dinner.

What was the initiation task the Pharaoh's gave Curt?

Curt's action caused the police car to drive off its axle. The gangs of the '50s were more interested in fighting over turf and girls. They were said to dislike members who became involved in drugs because it made them poorer fighters.

What did John give Carol as a souvenir?

John gave her a mini-piston. Lucas spent a lot of his youth working on cars and did drag racing until he was in a bad accident while attending junior college. The car was mangled, but he had installed a roll bar and was wearing a seat belt.

What was the D. J. eating when Curt went to the radio station?

"Hey, have a Popsicle. The icebox just broke down, and they're melting all over the place."

What is the name of the place where John and Bob race?

"All right now, where's this Paradise Road?" "Just follow this street straight out of town."

How did John get Carol to tell him where she lived?

"Carol, I, uh, I don't think that I can control myself any longer tonight. I've got to have you. …If you told me where you lived, well, then I could take you home, but you won't tell me where you live, so here we are…"

Finish the quote "Oh, excuse me, sir, I got a problem. See, I lost my I.D. ______________________."

"Oh, excuse me, sir, I got a problem. See, I lost my I.D. in a flood."

Who ran into Toad and Debbie in the woods?

"Steve! …Don't do that. Come on, let's get out of here."

Who was supervising the dance and advised Curt to go to college?

Mr. Bill Wolfe was the teacher who flirted with high school girls and told Curt to go to college and get out of town. American Graffiti was the first film to have a back-to-back soundtrack of rock and roll music playing throughout it.

How did John say Carol and he were related in front of his friends?

"Uh, this is my, uh, cousin, Carol… I'm, uh, babysitting."

Who wanted to date Steve when he told her he broke up with his girlfriend?

"Budda, wait… I've got to get up early in the morning, and, uh, I just don't think it'd work out."

What radio station call letters are used throughout the movie?

Wolfman Jack actually broadcast on XERF-AM instead of the XERB call letters used in the movie. XERF, located in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, was a high-powered radio station that wanted to avoid FCC regulations. By the 1950s, it used a 250,000-watt transmitter that could reach servicemen stationed at sea.

During the commercials, what song did Bob Falfa start singing to Laurie?

"Some enchanted evening, you will see a stranger. You will see a stranger across a crowded room."

How did Toad get the car back?

John beat up the guys for Toad. Toad ( played by Charles Martin Smith) was the most difficult part to cast, according to the casting director.

Who rode in John's car with him during the final drag race at Paradise Road?

John had seen many accidents and chose to race alone. Paul Le Mat (born September 22, 1945) was a boxer who was just starting in acting. His boxing background made him a good fit for the fight scene with the car thieves.

What was the outcome of the race?

Bob crashed. Lucas wanted to shoot the film in San Rafael because he felt Modesto looked too modern. After one day of shooting, San Rafael canceled the contract, and the whole crew had to move to Petaluma.

Who left for college on the airplane the next day?

Curt was the only teen to leave on the airplane. After spending years trying to get the movie produced, Lucas finally got Universal to show interest, as long as he could bring a big name to it. Coppola had just finished the Godfather and was more than happy to help Lucas out by producing it.

Which of the four main male characters went missing in action in Vietnam (An Loc)?

Just before the closing credits, we read that Terry Fields (Toad) went missing in action. To give mini-bios at the end of a movie about fictitious characters was unique, and started a trend.

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