Saturday, August 1, 2020

American Graffiti: Take Five

1. Elvis Presley songs are absent on the soundtrack. To mitigate the cost of licensing so many songs, Universal offered a flat rate to all of the labels involved. Everyone went along with it except for RCA. 
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Elvis Presley 1962
2. The inclusion of Wolfman Jack came from Lucas' earlier movie idea. He considered making a documentary about the DJ when he was a student at USC's film school. 
Wolfman Jack
3. Harrison Ford only agreed to be in the movie if he didn't have to cut his hair. His character, Bob Falfa, was supposed to have a flattop. Harrison told the producers he wouldn't do it if it required cutting his hair. Bob Falfa wears a Stetson hat throughout the film.
Harrison Ford American Graffiti
4. The blonde wasn't real in the original concept. Curt  spends most the film chasing a beautiful, mysterious blonde driving a Ford Thunderbird. Lucas intended to shoot a scene where the blonde and the car were briefly transparent, revealing she was a figment of Curt's imagination. But Universal tightened the budget.
"The Blonde" (Suzanne Somers) America Graffiti
5. There's no connection between the movie's American Graffiti and television' Happy Days. The show premiered five months after American Graffiti was released, was set in the '50s, had Ron Howard playing a teen and used "Rock Around the Clock" as its theme song. It even borrowed the American Graffiti font for the credits. But it wasn't a spin-off. It aired in 1972 as part of the anthology series Love, American Style.
Henry Winkler and
Ron Howard - Happy days

American Graffiti Movie CLIP 
Must Be Your Mama's Car (1973)

*addendum to Music History Today: August 1, 2020

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