Dazed And Confused/American Graffiti Essay

1774 words - 8 pages

American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused are both nostalgic, coming of age films that comically portray the characters interpersonal struggle and transition from their teenage, high-school years into adulthood. Both films are period pieces that take the audience back in time, to a time when life seemed much simpler than it is today. These types of films are almost always hits because of their relatability to the audience. The soundtracks featured in each of these films plays a significant role in the storylines.
American Graffiti (1973), is an Academy Award winning film directed by George Lucas, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat and Charles Martin Smith. American ...view middle of the document...

His attitude slowly changes throughout the film. In the beginning you see him as this over confident teenager who is arguing with his steady girlfriend, Laurie, about seeing other people while away. Steve cannot understand Laurie’s reaction to this declaration. Laurie breaks up with Steve and sets out to make him jealous. Laurie ends up cruising the strip with Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), who is challenging John to a race to prove that his car is the fastest on the strip.
John portrays the tough guy that is becoming uncertain about his position within the town as the ‘king of the road’. John’s sense of value relies solely on his hot rod, cruising and racing any challenger that dares to challenge him. His lack of confidence portrays his softer side to his character.
Steve announces that while he is away, he is entrusting Terry to care for his precious 58 Chevy Impala. Terry cries because of the honor he feels caring for such an “idol” and also because he realizes how this machine is going to change his life. Terry creates a new identity for the evening and picks up a beautiful blonde who is so impressed by all of the stories that Terry has created for himself. Ultimately in the end, Terry realizes that being himself is o.k. enough to impress his lady friend.
Curt throughout the evening encounters various different characters that give him a glimpse of what life has to offer should he choose to stay in Modesto. Curt meets eyes with a beautiful blonde driving a Ford Thunderbird at the stoplight while cruising with Steve and Laurie. Curt imagines her mouthing the words “I love you”. “Turn around Steve! She is the

most beautiful dazzling creature I have ever seen!” Finding this woman becomes his mission for the remainder of the evening. What if it is his destiny to meet this girl, fall in love and stay in Modesto for the rest of his life? If he could only find her, he would know the answer to his decision that he has to make within only a few hours. Throughout the evening, you can see inside Curt’s mind as he struggles with this life changing decision. For instance, the gang leader of the Pharaohs has inducted Curt into their gang after assisting in a robbing the pin ball machines at the local arcade. A gentleman approaches the group, questioning the misfits about what they are doing when he recognizes Curt. His attitude changes when he sees the group is with a good kid like Curt. This distraction allows the misfits to rob the machines before making their way out of there. Curt decides that if he stays in town, he is destined to wind up a member of one of these two groups, which he is not impressed by. The idea that this could end up being his life is the encouraging factor that leads him to accept the scholarship and leave the next morning for college.
In a final scene, John races Bob Falfa (while Laurie is still in the car with Bob) and a horrible accident occurs. Bob Falfa’s car leaves the roadway overturning several...

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