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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by George Lucas
USA 1973

 

From director George Lucas (Star Wars) and producer Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), "American Graffiti is a classic coming-of-age story set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins and rock 'n' roll. Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and Suzanne Somers in their breakout roles, this nostalgic look back follows a group of teenagers as they cruise the streets on their last summer night before college. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, American Graffiti features the howling sounds of Wolfman Jack and an unforgettable soundtrack with songs by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and Bill Haley & His Comets.

***

It's the last night of summer 1962, and the teenagers of Modesto, California, want to have some fun before adult responsibilities... close in. Among them are Steve (Ron Howard) and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), college-bound with mixed feelings about leaving home; nerdy Terry The Toad (Charles Martin Smith), who scores a dream date with blonde Debbie (Candy Clark); and John (Paul Le Mat ), a 22-year-old drag racer who wonders how much longer he can stay champion and how he got stuck with 13-year-old Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) in his deuce coupe. As D. J. Wolfman Jack spins 41 vintage tunes on the radio throughout the night, Steve ponders a future with girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt chases a mystery blonde, Terry tries to act cool, and Paul prepares for a race against Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), but nothing can stop the next day from coming, and with it the vastly different future ushered in by the 1960s.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 27th, 1973

Reviews                                                            More Reviews                                                      DVD Reviews

 

Review: Universal (50th Anniversary) - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

UK Steelbook:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:49:09.376        
Video

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 95,349,055,365 bytes

Feature: 76,799,903,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 79.20 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3726 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3726 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio English 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DUBs:

DTS Audio French 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -27dB

Subtitles English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, Danish , Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Czech, Chinese, Korean , None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Universal

 

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 95,349,055,365 bytes

Feature: 76,799,903,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 79.20 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Commentary with Director George Lucas
The Making of American Graffiti (1:16:31 - 7 Chapters in SD)
Screen Tests (22:55 - 4 X with combinations of Howard, Dreyfuss, Williams, Le Mat, Mackenzie)
Theatrical Trailer (2:52)

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Commentary with Director George Lucas via UControl
The Music of American Graffiti via UControl
The Making of American Graffiti (1:16:31 - 7 Chapters in SD)
Screen Tests (22:55 - 4 X with combinations of Howard, Dreyfuss, Williams, Le Mat, Mackenzie)
Theatrical Trailer (2:52)
My Scenes


4K Ultra HD Release Date: November 7th, 2023

Black 4K Ultra HD Case

Chapters 50

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Universal 4K UHD (November 2023): Universal are releasing George Lucas' "American Graffiti" to 4K UHD. While there is some improvement in color balance, unfortunately, Universal have continued with Paramount's practice - that can be seen as far back as their 2011 Blu-ray of "American Graffiti", reviewed HERE, to remove film-like grain replacing it with a cake-y DNR coating that softens the image and deeply effects it's appearance - smearing it dramatically to the negative. One of the major reasons to increase resolution is to celebrate the grain structure so visible in theatrical presentations. This 2160P here doesn't sharpen the image either - it is duller, waxy, and, frankly... a disaster. What a shame. The only thing I can say is that is does look better than the DNR'ed Blu-ray of more than a dozen years ago, only because of the high resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR10) and its effect on contrast and colors. But regardless this is a big disappointment, although based on Universal's other releases in this format - this is shocking. The Hitchcock 4K UHD sets are immaculate. Many are pointing the blame at the director for the grain scrubbing. 

Included is the 2011 Blu-ray, reviewed HERE, as evidenced by the M2TS files dates:

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 6 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: East End Hustle , Three Days of the Condor (software uniformly simulated HDR),Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fascination (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lips of Blood (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Others (no HDR), It Came From Outer Space (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now, Rosemary's Baby (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Wave (no HDR), The Train (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Trial (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Walkabout (software uniformly simulated HDR), Black Magic Rites, The Night of the Hunted (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Rape of the Vampire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Gorgo (software uniformly simulated HDR), Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Man From Hong Kong (software uniformly simulated HDR), One False Move, The Tall T (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cold Eyes of Fear (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rules of the Game (no HDR), The Manchurian Candidate (software uniformly simulated HDR), After Hours, Rain Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Changeling (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Night of the Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR), 12 Angry Men (software uniformly simulated HDR), Branded to Kill (no HDR), Picnic at Hanging Rock (software uniformly simulated HDR), Two Orphan Vampires, The Shiver of the Vampires, Drowning By Number (software uniformly simulated HDR), Serpico (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cool Hand Luke (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Seventh Seal (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Maltese Falcon (software uniformly simulated HDR).

On their 4K UHD, Universal add the option of a DTS-HD Master (24-bit) 5.1 surround bump. There are some cool, if funky, separations with the cars and music at Mel's Drive-In restaurant. They seem to have relegated the, more original stereo, audio to a puny-robust DTS track. "American Graffiti" is filled with music; Chuck Berry's "Johnnie B. Goode", Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" to The Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari" etc. in uncompressed - all help establish the early 60's feel. Dialogue is sometimes scattered - another intentional effect of the production. There are a host of European and a Japanese language DUBs as well as plenty of foreign subtitle options plus English and English (SDH.) Both the 4K UHD disc and included Blu-ray are region FREE.

There are extras on the 4K UHD disc repeated from the 20111 Blu-ray. We get a commentary with Director George Lucas (without the UControl picture-in-picture window) as he recalls the film - mostly fondly but with some expected gaps from the limited production timeline and getting close to its 40th birthday, at the time of recording. Fans may appreciate his candor in certain areas and fun anecdotes. Included is the 1 1/4 hour long The Making of American Graffiti which covers an immense amount of territory. Screenwriters Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck join with Lucas in detailed specifics - divided into 7 chapters from "Genesis of the Project" to "Final Words" and it includes some of the cast - which augments the interest. There are also 4 screen tests using a combination of Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Paul Le Mat, Mackenzie Phillips and Charles Martin Smith. It total is runs about 23-minutes. Lastly there is a trailer. On the 4K UHD disc we lose the UControl'ed The Music of American Graffiti. however it remains on the original, second disc, Blu-ray.

Universal's
4K UHD release of George Lucas' "American Graffiti" will be a let down for many fans who both enjoy the film and have a discerning eye for digital presentations. There are no new extras here for the "50th Anniversary". The previous DNR'ed Blu-ray has a visual bump to a DNR'ed 4K UHD image. We cannot endorse. 

Gary Tooze

 


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1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 

 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

UK Steelbook:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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