American Graffiti Movie Poster

Goofs from American Graffiti

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  • When Falfa's car rolls over, the trunk lid is open. When it blows up it is closed.
  • Television sets in the store window are early-1970s models.
  • While talking to Curt at the radio station, Wolfman Jack pulls the tone arm off of a turntable. Seconds later, he does it again.
  • The popsicle the radio station DJ is eating disappears.
  • In the latter half of the film, it's alternately sunrise/still night between shots.
  • Guitar played by lead guitarist of Herby and the Heartbeats at the sock hop plays a post-1966 Fender Stratocaster (with the CBS headstock, and a rosewood fretboard which wasn't made till late '62).
  • After Falfa rolls his Chevy, Milner aids him up the slope to the roadside. Falfa clearly has his white cowboy hat in his hand. Edit scene to the Chevy explosion. Scene cuts back to Milner handing Falfa his white cowboy hat.
  • While John and Carol are cruising, the pack of Camels rolled up in John's sleeve switch front showing to back showing through the shirt fabric.
  • Amount of shaving cream on the car when Milner and the young girl began blasting it on there.
  • The coin telephone at Mel's is a model that didn't go into general use until the late 1960s.
  • When Carol and Milner jump out of the car to get the car full of girls, they leave the doors open. When running back in, the doors have been closed.
  • Falfa and Milner race on Paradise just before sunrise. Paradise Road runs west out of Modesto, but the sun was rising over the mountains, which are clearly visible in the near distance. That shot was likely taken from the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Range near Petaluma, somewhere off of Lakeville Highway.
  • When Carol is on the hood of the car being shaving-creamed, she covers the front windshield with shaving cream and jumps off, but as she runs around the car, there's no shaving cream anywhere on it.
  • When Wolfman Jack is talking to Curt, the position of the top-right-hand tape in the rack behind him keeps moving up and down by one slot between shots.
  • When John Milner is cruising the strip for the first time he is supposedly alone in his rod, however right after the guy in the black coupe tells John to watch out for the cops, you can see that there's someone in the passenger seat beside him.
  • When John is stopped by the policeman, he's a few feet from a movie theater. The movie poster is for Cabaret (1972).
  • During the Curt/Wolfman scene, the boom mic is seen moving in the reflection on the studio window behind Wolfman Jack.
  • John Milner's hot rod is missing the front license plate in some scenes.
  • The Botts Dots (raised reflective lane markers) were perfected by Elbert D. Botts in the 1950s.
  • When Milner has a run-in with Officer Holstein, the Wolfman Jack montage we hear on the radio includes a clip from the song "Grazing In The Grass" by Hugh Masekela, released in the late 1960s.
  • In one of the first cruising scenes where Toad is trying out his new wheels, he drives past a 1967 Impala parked on the curbside.
  • When Milner gets blasted with the shaving cream, he wipes it away with his hand - all but a small smudge between his eyes. Even though he missed this smudge, it's clearly gone the next time we see his face.
  • At the airport when Curt is ready to leave for college, there is a 1964 van parked nearby.
  • As Toad pours the Old Harper into a coke bottle, it's twilight. When Toad gets back into the car and hands Debbie her drink, the passenger window reveals total darkness.
  • The license plate on the Studebaker with the girls from Turlock is the same as the plate on Steve's '58 Chevy.
  • In the beginning, Falfa's 55 has chrome wheels. But when he rolls the car, it has painted wheels.
  • The pinball machines that the Pharaohs rob are all newer than the 1962 setting of the film. Buckaroo-1965 Base Hit-1967; Royal Guard-1968; Wild Wild West-1969; SkyRocket-1970; Vampire-1971.
  • When Carol and John are walking through the junkyard they go past many 1963, 1962, 1961, and 1960 cars. It would be improbable for these "late model" cars to already be in a junkyard in 1963. There is a 1963 Studebaker Lark, a 1961 Pontiac, and a 1960 Ford for instance.
  • The Citroen 2CV Curt drives, which has three windows on each side, was not in production until 1966.
  • Curt watches The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952) on televisions in a store window, sometime close to midnight. Sitcom reruns were not late-night staples in 1962, and "Ozzie & Harriet" was never scheduled later than 9:00 PM in prime time.
  • In some scenes, John Milner's yellow coupe has a windshield wiper on the driver's side; in other scenes it doesn't have it.
  • In the final scene Curt walks toward the airplane's open door to board while the number one engine (left outboard) is starting up. In real life, a pilot would never start an engine on the boarding side with a door still open and passengers behind a running engine.
  • While listening to Wolfman Jack at Mel's, Curt hears the Wolfman say that he'll be going off the air in five minutes at midnight. Curt goes to the studio to make a request, but the clock in the background shows that it's only 7:25 pm.
  • While it was plausible for the double yellow road striping to be seen on USA roads in 1962, during a car chase scene there is a road with what seems to have yellow dashed striping in place along with white center lines. Yellow dashed center lines were introduced from the beginning of 1972, and therefore the researchers to the film must have accidentally overlooked a section of road that had just been re striped.
  • Falfa and Milner prepare for the street race (their first meeting). Falfa has a blonde sitting next to him in the '55 Chevy. When the light turns green, they take off. During the next few cuts of the two cars racing down the street, there is no passenger visible in Falfa's car. When the next light turns red, Falfa guns his car to go through the red light, and the blonde passenger has reappeared.
  • Near the end of the movie, Steve throws Toad and Debbie out of his '58 Chevy at Mel's Drive-In. As Toad and Debbie are stepping out of the car, there is a reflection of a boom mic moving along the left rear portion of the car's roof.
  • The movie is set in 1962, but a cinema marquee advertises Dementia 13 (1963) (released in 1963). This was done on purpose by George Lucas, because Dementia 13 was Producer Francis Ford Coppola's first movie.
  • When Terry is trying to buy liquor, the sign on the door of the liquor store, although apparently appropriate to the period ("Winston" ad), says "Push" on the "Pull" side of the door.
  • Just before Curt goes to sit down on the car to watch TV he is running through the intersection on foot and behind him there is a 1973 Olds Cutlass.
  • Toad crashes his Vespa and walks away, and in the very next shot it is standing up and nicely parked.
  • The Beach Boys song "All Summer Long" - which plays over the end credits - was released in the Summer of 1964 although the movie is set in the Summer of 1962, some two years before the song's release. But the characters do not hear it, only we do; and it is a suitable way of moving into the post-1962 "future".
  • The radio station that we hear in the movie with Wolfman Jack is XERB in Mexico, not California.
  • When Curt boards the plane, a large notation above the door says "Radar Equipped". However, when the plane takes off, the suitably large wording is no longer seen on the aircraft.
  • Terry wears a pair of blue and white suede shoes and eventually near the end while sitting on the curb of Mels Diners he is wearing white suede shoes.
  • When Carol runs from the Studebaker to Milner's coupe, she reaches through his passenger window to open the door with the inside latch handle, without trying the exterior handle (which isn't working, as Toad does the same thing); however, Carol would not yet have known that.
  • When speaking with Curt outside the hop, Mr. Wolfe's grip on his cigarette changes repeatedly from cut to cut.
  • Nowhere is there to be seen a radio antenna on John Milner's coupe. XERB was an AM station, and Milner wouldn't have been able to pick anything except static.
  • Not only is Milner's yellow hot rod missing an antenna, it doesn't even have a car radio. It never did and still doesn't have one, the car being now owned in original condition by Rick Figari from San Francisco.
  • At the radio station, the control board is a Gates Stereo Yard, the station is AM while a "yard" would only be used at an FM Stereo station. None of the meters moved. None of the lights on the cart machines ever changed.
  • When John & Carol get out of his car at the stop-light to flatten the tires of the white car, a fully-bearded, red-vested George Lucas is reflected in the passenger window as it's being rolled up.
  • When the 4-engine DC7 airplane takes off, the sound heard is a 6-engine B-36 (a very distinctive sound).
  • In the cruising scene, someone in a 1960 Belair is handing something to someone in a 1956 Chevy with a blue California license plate, but the blue plates were not issued until about 1970.
  • Carol's parents won't let her listen to Wolfman Jack partly because he is a "negro." Wolfman Jack in fact is not African American, but because Rythmn and Blues and rock have African American roots, her parents during that era, probably figured that Wolfman was African American.
  • In the cruising scene, someone in a 1960 Belair is handing something to someone in a 1956 Chevy with a blue California license plate, but these were not issued until about 1970.
  • When Toad first talks to Debbie in Steve's '58 Chevy, he tells her it has a 327 engine in it. The 327 Chevy engine first made it appearance in 1963.
  • As Falfa rolls his Chevy on Paradise Road a box wrench is clearly visible, lying on the bottom of the car body after the car comes to a halt.
  • Though Debralee Scott is listed as "Falfa's Girl" in the credits, she is only riding with him in earlier scenes. She is mysteriously gone later and replaced by an uncredited blonde actress. Later the blonde also disappears without explanation and Falfa "picks up" Cindy Williams character.
  • When the Wolfman announces Curt's dedication request on the air, he tells the blonde to meet Curt at Burger City - but Curt was waiting at Mel's Drive-In. But if you check the Mel's Drive-In sign at the beginning of the film, you'll see "Burger City" at the very bottom of the sign.
  • The 327 engine did not appear until 1962 - not 1963. Most likely this model had the 283 power pack but many had 348 engine in the Impala series.
  • The 55 Chevy that rolled was not the same car that was being driven. For one thing, the engine is missing.
  • Leaving Steve's car, Toad and Debbie take a blanket and walk off to the left beside the canal. When they return they are coming up from the right.
  • Wolfman Jack's radio broadcasts throughout the film are ostensibly airing on Mexcian station XERB, as identified by various jingles. However, in 1962 (when the film is set) he was broadcasting for another station, XERF; he would not move to XERB until 1965.
  • When the Pharaohs take Curt to loot pinball machines, Mr Gordon invites Curt into the diner to see Hank. When Curt is conversing with Hank and Mr Gordon, the scene changes perspective, after which all background labeled items and signs read backwards or are "mirror reversed" in the shot. It is most likely an edit correction to keep the orientation of direction correct from where Curt walked in and Joe sticks his head in to let them know they are finished.
  • The Chevrolet 327 engine first appearance was in the 1962 Corvette, and not available in Bob Falfa's '55 Chevy. The 283 engine first appeared in 1957 and prior to that the 265 engine first appeared in 1955.
  • Curt gives his former teacher a cigarette from a pack in his shirt pocket early in the movie. Curt is never seen to smoke during the rest of the movie, even when hanging out with the Pharaohs.
  • When Terry finds Steve's car after it was stolen earlier, he mentions that the thieves must have taken the keys and he tries to hot-wire it. Later he drives into Mel's with the car and Steve comes and takes the car from Terry without any mention of the keys being found, the keys given back to Terry or Steve by the thieves, or of Steve having another set of keys. And if it was hot-wired back to Mel's, why did Steve not make any mention of the car running without keys?
  • When Curt is sitting in the back seat of a car with his ex-girlfriend Wendy and her friend sitting in the front, right before the cut to Wendy saying "hey did you know that my ex...", you can see her in the far left of the shot and her mouth isn't moving for the first few words of her line.
  • The main drag race takes place on one of the few roads that show the new 1971 MUTCD yellow road marking system. These did not exist in the early 1960s, and the road markings should have been white.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when John Milner speaks with the guy in the other car about Bob Falfa and the cops, if you stare, you can see Carol sitting next to John, before they met.
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