San Francisco in Cinema: America Graffiti

Mel's Diner, 3355 Geary Blvd.
You might think of American Graffiti as "Happy Days: The Movie" since it predates the coming of age series and features two of its stars, Ron Howard and Cindy Williams, in roles similar to those they played on television. The 1973 sleeper hit from director George Lucas is the landmark film about the dusk-to-dawn adventures of "Dewey High School" graduates in 1962. The ensemble cast includes Harrison Ford, Mackenzie Phillips, Suzanne Somers, Kay Lenz, Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss, and Bo Hopkins. Somers, who hails from San Bruno, was living in San Francisco when she was paid $136.72 for the unforgettable role of the girl who mouths, "I love you" from a white '56 Thunderbird convertible. Great music and naturalistic acting and film making techniques helped make American Graffiti a classic of the American cinema. The principal location is the Mel's Diner at 140 South Van Ness Avenue. The Mel's at 3355 Geary Blvd. also appears.

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