WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

American Graffiti

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Richard Dreyfuss, Ronny Howard, Paul LeMat, Charlie Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford, Wolfman Jack.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 2
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Universal Studios Home Video
(Catalog Number): 42725
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $34.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 112
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1973
(LD Release Date): Color
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): George Lucas
(Screenplay/Written By): George Lucas, Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck
(Story): NA
(Music): Ron Eveslage & Jan D’Alquen
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Dennis Clark
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Aggie Guerard Rodgers
(Editor): Verna Fields & Marcia Lucas
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): Gary Kurtz
(Producers): Francis Ford Coppola

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Techniscope
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
American Graffiti is George Lucas’ nostalgic comedy about four friends in a small Northern California town who spend the last night of the summer having fun and pondering their futures amidst a rousing backdrop of classic rock ‘n roll tunes.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The film was shot in Techniscope®, and one visual drawback of the Techniscope process was that images could be rather grainy. The opening scene of Mel’s Diner, as viewed on the new THX®-quality assured LaserDisc and dual-layered anamorphic DVD, has been remastered and appears vibrantly preferred over Issue 21’s LaserDisc. Following that scene, at dusk in front of the diner, on the new LaserDisc and DVD colors appear horribly oversaturated. When dark falls and everyone is out cruising the streets, the color balance is very similar between the old LaserDisc and both new versions. The DVD letterbox aspect ratio is 2.35:1, while the anamorphic version is 2.25:1. The LD is 2.30:1. As previously reviewed in Issue 21, the matrix PCM LaserDisc version has an electronically stereo enhanced mono presence, though originally a Mag Stereo soundtrack, but was re-released in Dolby® Stereo in 1978. The new LaserDisc and DVD releases use the same matrix surround soundtrack as the earlier LaserDisc. But the Dolby® Digital coding sounds thin and strident compared to the matrix PCM version, which remains the preferred soundtrack.