Thursday, September 15, 2016

Iconic Mel's Drive-In Rehabs Old Diner in the Heart of Santa Monica

by Farley Elliot

Here’s something awesome: according to a bit of city paperwork, there’s a new Mel’s Drive-In coming to the city of Santa Monica.

A tipster points to this planning commission report for Santa Monica, which points towards a meeting to be held in just one week’s time that will (hopefully) establish a conditional use permit for one Mel’s Drive in right in Lincoln Boulevard. It's a nice replacement of sorts for Norms. 

which had to close to make way for some development. 

The 5,352 square foot property sits right off the freeway on Lincoln in a former orthodontics business, but carries the peaked roof and wide frontage of a Googie Restaurant — making it perfect for Mel’s to arrive. Originally built in 1959 as the Penguin Coffee Shop, the spot could once again be hosting diners twenty-four hours a day if Mel’s gets their way.

Things are still in early-ish stages, so don’t expect your local Mel’s to crop up tomorrow. But still, this is exciting news for fans of the small West Coast chainlet, and anyone looking to enjoy a nice plate of eggs at any time of day or night. The restaurant will also carry beer and wine, plus seating for a few dozen out on the surrounding patio. Eater reached out to the Mel’s team for more information on the opening, but so far hasn’t heard back.

Mels Drive-in 
1670 Lincoln Blvd.  
Santa Monica, CA

🍔 FINE  🍨

Thursday, August 4, 2016


A rare production pic of Mels at dusk. You can see Richard Dreyfuss approaching Milner's coupe.

Hi!  Hello... buenos noches? Need a lift?  Nice night for a walk? Do you know John Milner? Curt Henderson? Sure you wouldn't like a ride somewhere? Did anyone ever tell you that you
look just like Connie Stevens?
  Ah, yes, welcome back to another thrilling post of Kip Pullman's American Graffiti Blog.  I think every hard-core Graffiti fan has their own little space in their domicile dedicated to American Graffiti, rather it be just a movie poster on the wall, a whole plethora of collectable memorabilia in a display case, or a garage filled with Graffiti-related collectables.  Yes, you know who you are.  I fall somewhere in between categories. I have many many, signed photos and lobby cards signed by the stars of Graffiti and T.V. 's Happy Days. Unfortunately,  I only have so much space in my room to display these incredible items. So its always a dilemma for me as to which ones to put on display  I always seem to be changing my mind as to which photos look best on my wall.  But for now, I've settled on what I've displayed here. So, this post is filled with pictures of my memorabilia I've proudly displayed on my walls and dresser. Hope you enjoy.

(Click on on all pix below to enlarge)

Graffiti pictures above my bed that dance in my head as I sleep at night.

All the main Graffiti cars and others (plus Vespas)  in a mirrored display case

Candy signed this for me in Petaluma in May 2016

Various Happy Days pics (from the first 2 seasons) signed by all the cast memebers

Random nostalgic items, i.e., Coke bottle, Mel's Tepco china, A&W root beer mugs, Mels ashtray, matches and menus.

Rare Wolfman Jack publicity photos from various periods of his career

Hope you've enjoyed my display.  BTW: I'd love to see pix of other fan's memorabilia (that means you). Please feel free to share your pix on my Face Book Group: Kip's Paradise Road. 



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lifetime Resident of Petaluma, Jim Bergstrom focuses on Participation in American Graffiti

Hello, fellow Graffiti addicts!  Welcome back to KIP'S AMERICAN GRAFFITI BLOG. Today's post is a recent reprint from Petaluma's local paper in May of 2016. CHECK IT OUT!!!
Jim's truck can be seen to the right of the The Pharaohs 
Jim stands proudly with his '41 truck.  Photo: Scott Manchester Argus-Courier Staff

With the classic car show season rapidly approaching, many Petaluma car buffs are getting prepared by busily detailing, polishing and fine tuning their well-preserved hot rods, custom cars and roadsters. Motivated by a rock ’n’ roll soundtrack, they’re eager to turn back the clock to their coolest memories of toolin’ town by celebrating Cruisin’ the Boulevard’s annual Salute to American Graffiti on May 21. And since the homegrown car show and parade is all about reliving cherished car-culture memories, I asked lifelong Petaluma resident Jim Bergstrom, a 1958 graduate of Petaluma High School, about his recollections of that era. 

While you may not recognize Bergstrom on the street, it’s quite possible you’ve noticed his eye-catching, fire-engine red 1941 Ford pickup, which he’s been toolin’ around in since he bought it in 1960. His pickup was also featured in a memorable scene from the movie “American Graffiti,” shot on Kentucky Street, where Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), encounters the Pharaohs.
The pristine pickup is also showcased in artist Elise Durenberger’s current promotional poster for the upcoming event, along with the iconic ’58 Chevy Impala, the ’56 T-Bird, and the yellow deuce coupe from the 1972 movie.

If he ever chose to, Bergstrom might consider opening a “Petaluma Graffiti” information booth, or conducting tours of Petaluma’s long-forgotten businesses and landmarks. Living here since he was 9 months old, the 76-year-old retired pipe fitter certainly knows his way around, having resided in 12 different locations around town and attended seven schools: Pepper Kindergarten, Phillip Sweed, Lincoln Primary, Washington Grammar, McNear Elementary School, Petaluma Junior High School and Petaluma High School. 

(Click on pics to enlarge)
He’s been earning his own spending money since he was 11 years old, beginning with an Argus-Courier paper route, delivering the S.F. Call-Bulletin for distributer Clyde Gibby, and helping a veterinarian vaccinate baby chicks. While striving to become an auto mechanic, he worked for Pete Maggiora’s Mobil Service, Dillingham Flying A Service, Ed’s (Gerrits) Richfield Service, Tom Hooper’s Signal Service, Manuel Roche Auto Repair, Price-Roche Motors, and as an apprentice mechanic for Forrest Frey. Throw in a stint at Fred Hopkins’ Petaluma Shoe Repair, a caretaking job on Hopkins’ ranch and two different posts working on dairy farms, and it’s clear that Bergstrom was always employed.

“I think I knew just about everybody in town, which made it really easy to get a job,” said Bergstrom, without explaining why he changed jobs so often.

With attention focused on Cruisin’ the Boulevard’s parade of classic cars at the end of the day, Bergstom recalls stories from the good old days when the sound of squealing tires, peeling out, or “burning rubber” pierced the calm night air. He’s a throwback to those not-on-our-best-behavior days, admitting to the time he “just lit ‘em up” in front of Lund’s Drive-In and left a screaming trail of rubber, a performance that was witnessed by a traffic cop who didn’t buy his inevitable excuse of “my throttle stuck” and resulted in a disturbing the peace charge. And another incident, where he “smoked the tires” at a traffic light, before looking around and spotting his father in the car next to his.

In 1960, Bergstrom accepted a $2.37 an hour job as a pipe fitter at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, which blossomed into a 30-year career. He and his wife of almost 54 years, Leslie, were married May 25, 1962, which makes Cruisin’ the Boulevard’s question, “Where were you in ’62?” an easy one for him to answer.

Jim I luv ya man! thanks for your hospitality. It was a pleasure meeting your wife, son & Connor at Petaluma Celebrates American Graffiti 2016. - Kip

~  FINI  ~ 

NOTES: ________________________________________

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Welcome back to Kip's American Graffiti Blog, my friends!  Way back in 1999 Entertainment Weekly magazine ran a fantastic article on American Graffiti. I found the text at the Clovis library about 10 years ago on line. I decided now was as good time as any to print it for our readers.  I added the photos myself. I really like the way the participants reflect on their summer of '72 and the way the individual quotes piece together to make a progressive story.   I think you'll enjoy this as much as I do!  


 Chris Nashawaty 


In the summer of 1972, a 28-year-old director named George Lucas began shooting a semiautobiographical film about California car culture. His only previous feature--a head scratcher of a science-fiction flick called THX 1138--had tanked.  
Lucas' first feature, a science fiction film, THX 1138 that expanded upon one of his student films
 With a $750,000 budget and a cast of unknowns, American Graffiti wasn't much of a gamble for Universal Pictures. But it was a gamble that would ultimately pay off big: Not only would Lucas turn his hot-rods-and-hormones cheapie into high art, his film would go on to rake in $55 million in its initial release and snag five Academy Award nominations. On the 25th anniversary of its trip to the Oscars, we asked the kids who made American Graffiti to relive the creation of a pop-culture classic. 

Bruised by the failure of THX 1138 and the consensus that it was cold and clinical, Lucas reached back to his youth and came up with a "warmer" story. A car enthusiast since growing up in Modesto, Calif., Lucas decided to focus on cruising--which he later called "a uniquely American mating ritual involving automobiles."   
Lucas & Coppola

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (producer): George and I met at Warner Bros. while I was making Finian's Rainbow. He was a student, and he'd won an award that allowed him to go there and watch a movie being made. He became like a younger brother.   

WILLARD HUYCK (co-screenwriter): I was at USC film school with George. He was just this goofy guy. When George was shooting a scene for THX in L.A., he said, "I've got this great idea; I want to do a film about when we were all in high school, cruising."   

COPPOLA: I think George was traumatized by THX and realized that his career was going to be dependent on how accessible people found his work.      

HUYCK: He would fly down from San Francisco with his briefcase, which had his underpants and deodorant in it. And Gloria [Katz], George, and I sat for about two weeks and talked about all of the great things that had happened to us in high school. 
Graffiti co-writers, Willard Hyuck & Gloria Katz

GLORIA KATZ (co-screenwriter): Our draft was extremely long. It was like 160 pages, and everybody was freaking out. So we got the tiniest type known to man, and it became 125 pages.   

NED TANEN (then a Universal executive): It was the first script I'd ever read where the soundtrack was the script to some degree. What amazed me was I was the last person in town to ever see this screenplay. Every company in town passed on it.   

KATZ: American Graffiti was viewed as the lowest form of movie alive because it was about that subspecies of human being--teenagers. It was really the movie nobody wanted to touch. 

TANEN: After The Godfather opened, Francis was deservedly considered "the genius." And when he signed on as a producer of Graffiti, it got the movie made.   

COPPOLA: I told George I'd be happy to be associated with it in whatever way would be helpful. And he said, "Well, would you produce it?" I was very seriously thinking about financing Graffiti myself. I had all this money that I'd made with The Godfather. But when I heard Universal would finance it and we'd all be given a piece of the picture, I figured, Well, it's the second-best thing. 


"Graffiti" Casting Director Fred Roos
FRED ROOS (casting director): We went through weeks and weeks of interviewing hundreds of actors. It was not hard to get an interview for American Graffiti.    

RICHARD DREYFUSS (Curt): I'd been doing some TV, and I felt I was kind of on the brink of a film career.

ROOS: I hung out with Richard in my circle. We called him "Ricky" in those days. I thought he was very talented. He was kind of a smart-ass--that was part of his charm. 
Richard Drefuss
RON HOWARD (Steve): Word was out that this was a musical. And I thought, "God, I really can't carry a tune." So when I went in, I told George I can't sing. And he said, "Don't worry about it." The Andy Griffith Show had ended four years before. But I was really thrilled because this was my first non-child actor role. 

ROOS: Ronny was so identified with Opie that he wasn't getting parts and he wasn't really on the radar. 
Andy Griffith & Ronny Howard
PAUL LE MAT (John): I'd just been kicking around Hollywood driving a cab and working at a gas station. I think a major reason I got the role is because George Lucas is so cheap. There was no actor in Hollywood who would do it. I got $600 a week. 

Paul Le Mat as "Big" John Milner during a video taped rehearsal
ROOS: Paul had studied acting but had never acted. He was a serious boxer. And I'd wanted him for a part in John Huston's Fat City, but his managers asked for too much money, so the part went to Jeff Bridges. 

CANDY CLARK (Debbie): I was living with Jeff Bridges at the time--we'd met on "Fat City," and we were an item. 
Candy Clark & Jeff Bridges in FAT CITY
ROOS: I remember I was going to New York, and Jack Nicholson said, "There's an interesting girl you should look up." He thought Candy was funny and smart and could be an actress.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH (Toad): I'd been doing small parts in movies and TV shows, like an episode of Room 222 and The Brady Bunch. I was the kid Greg sold his lemon of a car to. 

Greg (Barry Williams) boasts to Ronnie (Charles Martin Smith) about the car, while winking at his sisters.

CINDY WILLIAMS (Laurie): I met George for literally 30 seconds, and he just went, "Yeah. Great. Okay." 

ROOS: Cindy's chemistry with Ronny was perfect. But she was older than Ronny, and he was a little intimidated about doing love scenes with an older woman. 

Cindy Williams & Ronny Howard prepare to rehearse their sock hop scene.

MACKENZIE PHILLIPS (Carol): I was 12, so I was the little mascot on the set. I was this kid who'd grown up fast who had some pretty wild stories to tell [Phillips' father, John, was a member of the Mamas and the Papas]. I used to regale Candy and Cindy and Harrison [Ford] and Charlie with stories of the Rolling Stones hanging out in my living room and Donovan sliding down the banister and teaching me how to make hash brownies, but not letting me eat them.
Mackenzie Phillips (Carol) pretending to be older than she really is.

HARRISON FORD (Falfa): I was a carpenter, and I was making twice as much as they were offering me to be in the movie. So I refused at first. But when they called back with an offer of $15 a week more, I took it.  
Harrison Ford (Bob Falfa) carpenter & frustrated actor
 ROOS: I knew Harrison from around town, and he wasn't a particularly gregarious, jolly, or forthcoming person to talk to. He was kind of angry at the movie business. But I would also give him work as a carpenter. He put an addition on my house. In fact, the bed my son sleeps in was built by Harrison Ford. It was very hard to get other people to see the future leading man in him because he had this scar on his face--he wasn't pretty.
Kathleen Quinlan (Peg) Mt. Tamalpais High,  class of '72

KATHLEEN QUINLAN (Peg): I was a student at the high school in Marin County where they shot the sock-hop scene. It was like the circus came to town and I got to be in it. 

SUZANNE SOMERS (blond in T-Bird): I was a single mother from a teen pregnancy. I'd been doing commercials and local modeling. I lived in Sausalito and had to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to audition, and there was a 50 cent toll, and I didn't have 50 cents to my name. So when I got to the tollbooth, they told me I'd have to leave something as collateral. I left a lipstick. Fortunately, no matter how poor a woman is, she always has a lot of lipstick.


LE MAT: I remember when I walked into George's office he was sitting in his chair, and I thought, "Well, this is going to be a piece of shit. This guy's gonna make a movie?" He looked more like a guy who did research in a library. 
Young auteur, George Lucas

WILLIAMS: I felt like he was a guy I knew from high school. I was very relaxed with him because we were on the same least we were then. 

CLARK: I had just worked with John Huston, who dressed the part of a director with his safari bush suits and his Sherlock Holmes cape. And George was all T-shirts and tennis shoes. 

HOWARD: I had already been accepted to the USC film school, and George was kind of a legend at USC. But my first impression of him was one of utter confusion because George didn't say much. He's like a chatterbox now compared to how shy he was then. 


The first Mels drive-in built in 1947 was located at 140 S. Van Ness San Francico, CA

WILLIAMS: We went off to San Rafael, Calif., and there was no rehearsal because it was low, low budget. I remember I got $1,000 a week and Harrison Ford got $400 a week. I always love to say that because now he gets millions for waking up in the morning. 
Mackenzie Phillips was 12yrs-old during the filming of Graffiti

PHILLIPS: I arrived alone off the plane with no guardian. They were almost going to have to recast me. But [coproducer] Gary Kurtz and his family said, "We'll take her." So they went to the courts in San Francisco and got guardianship of me. I lived with his family, and they were Quakers. Here I was, this little rock & roll Valley kid, and we'd be singing songs and holding hands before dinner. I was like, "Where am I?" 

FORD: It was done in 28 nights. It was very little time, very little money, and very few doughnuts. I almost got fired for taking more than my share of doughnuts. 

PHILLIPS: I was so young I didn't even know we were making a real movie. I thought maybe we were making an educational movie or something. Almost all my scenes were with Paul Le Mat, and I thought he was so hot. 
Snobby Suzanne Somers

SOMERS: It all seemed very insignificant to me at the time. In the trailer was Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Paul Le Mat, Ron Howard, and Richard Dreyfuss. And I thought, "What a bunch of losers." I just thought it was a stupid movie in a stupid town with a bunch of people who'd never done anything before. 

DREYFUSS: "Guerrilla filmmaking" is the only way to describe it. It was like "run up on the porch and get the scene before the owner gets home!" And poor [cinematographer] Haskell Wexler--he was also shooting commercials down in L.A. And to this day, I have no idea when he slept. 

HOWARD: George was whipped. Once he fell asleep during a shot. He said, "Action!" and the scene finally ended and George was sitting on the hood of a car and someone had to nudge him because he was asleep and he woke up and said, "Cut! Cut! Terrific! Let's move on!" 
Lucas & Haskell Wexler

CLARK: George and Haskell Wexler looked like ghosts. They didn't sleep or 30 days. George was editing all day after the night shoots. And Haskell was flying back to L.A. every morning. At the end, they weren't even blinking anymore. 

WILLIAMS: Poor George. He was up against everything. A lot of us had worked for Roger Corman, and I think we thought this was the same kind of thing--a lot of cars and a lot of kids. 

DREYFUSS: Everyone on that set believed it was going to be a classic, and I thought they were nuts. I was the guy who believed American Graffiti wouldn't be a hit. 

SMITH: At the wrap party at [Coppola's company] American Zoetrope in San Francisco, George put together about five scenes with some music over it and screened it for us. 
Wexler & Lucas filming at Mels Drive-in
WILLIAMS: They had some Cheez Whiz and crackers, and George showed us a piece of the film. I was standing against the wall next to Harrison Ford, and he leaned over to me and said, "This is f----n' great!" 

FORD: I don't really recall that. But I'm sure it's true. There was an understanding that what were called "youth films" had not represented the experience of young people. I mean, Beach Blanket Bingo was not really a revelation about the mysteries of life. 

SMITH: I was so impressed. But I also knew it was a teenage cruising movie, so I thought no one would notice and it would go straight to the drive-ins because of the subject matter. 
Candy Clark & Charlie Martin-Smith


The first of two drag race scenes between rivals, Harrison Ford in the '55 Chevy & Paul Le Mat in the '32 coupe.

On Jan. 28, 1973--six months after the film wrapped--Lucas and Coppola screened American Graffiti for a whooping audience at the Northpoint Theater in San Francisco. The evening has since become the stuff of Hollywood legend. In Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, he writes that Universal's Tanen and Coppola got into a heated fight after the screening during which Tanen called Graffiti "unreleasable." Coppola then reportedly told Tanen, "You should get down on your knees and thank George for saving your job." According to Biskind, Coppola then offered to buy the film from Universal on the spot. 
COPPOLA: Yes, that's a true story. I offered to buy the film...which I now wish I had. 

TANEN: I've never met the man who wrote that wonderful book, but he's managed to quote me.... This has become the most overblown crock of s---ever. They ran the movie in San Francisco, which did not make me happy because I thought it was a set-up screening with all of their friends from Marin County and San Francisco.
Lucas & Coppola at the hop

COPPOLA: I don't remember how we recruited the audience, but we didn't know them. 

TANEN: My reaction was, "This is a terrific movie. But there are a couple of problems, and here it goes on too long." Things of that nature. I had an unpleasant conversation with Francis.... He just became very belligerent, and I became very belligerent. I'll take half the blame. I don't deal well with bullies, and it got a little unpleasant. But not with George. He was at the other end of the theater. 

HUYCK: Francis asked Ned, "You hate this movie?" And he got out his checkbook and said, "I'll buy it. If you hate it that much tell me how much you want." And he said, "What are you talking about? That's silly." Ned was sort of taken aback. 

TANEN: The higher-ups at the studio really hated the movie. They didn't get it. But that was the business at the time. These guys were used to running things their way--they didn't need these kids coming in, saying "Hey, man." And now I was in a position of "How do I even get this movie released?" because they were going to dump it. They were still waiting for Abbott and Costello movies, not waiting for this or Easy Rider. 

COPPOLA: Universal even wanted to change the title. They said they thought people would think it was a movie about feet. So all day we were trying to dream up hokey titles like Rock Around the Block. 

TANEN: I was really caught in the middle. And the minute you work for the studio, you're automatically the enemy. The amazing thing is, 25 years later no one has anything better to talk about than a silly-ass screening. 


 KATZ: Before the movie came out, we were standing in the unemployment line one day with Dreyfuss. We were all collecting. 
Producer, Gary Kurtz, Wolfman Jack & Bo Hopkins

HUYCK: Sherry Lansing [now head of Paramount Pictures] was on line too. 

 KATZ: Richard was talking about the movie, and he was all down on himself. And this guy behind us said, "Are you talking about American Graffiti? That's the best movie I've ever seen!" He had been at some sneak preview. 

TANEN: Universal was trying to get rid of it, and I set up a screening. I called Wolfman Jack and said, "Get me 500 crazy kids tonight." And then I prevailed on the people at Universal to come. As soon as the logo came on and the music began, the kids started dancing and yelling and that was the end of everything. It woke everybody up. 
Wolfman Jack & George Lucas at the press screening at the Avco Theater in L.A., CA
HOWARD: When it came out and did so well, we were all flabbergasted. Not that we thought it was bad. We just didn't think it was going to be respected and be treated like a grown-up movie. 

WILLIAMS: Richard Dreyfuss was off doing The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in Canada, and he called me one day and said, "What's going on?"And I told him there were lines around the block, and he didn't believe me. 

DREYFUSS: Cindy screamed over the phone, "Ricky, you want to be a star?" And I said, "Yeah!" And she yelled, "Well, get your ass down to Joe Allen [restaurant] in New York. You walk in and they're going to stand up and applaud!" And I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing up here in Canada?"

Dreyfuss was in Canada filming "Duddy Kravitz" when he learned how popular "Graffiti" had become in the states.

For your consideration Best Supporting Actress

In 1974, Graffiti received five Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, and a Best supporting Actress nod for Clark. But the big winners that year were George Roy Hill and his movie The Sting. 

CLARK: I thought it would be a smart idea to run a campaign in the trades for myself. I found out later that certain people thought that was very tacky. 

COPPOLA: I was never a real big Oscar-goer. But at that point we were approaching a dreamworld because we had made The Godfather and we had made Graffiti and all of a sudden everything had started to go our way after years of really being underdogs. 

KATZ: We were like Pulp Fiction that year. We were the kids invited to the grown-ups' party. 

CLARK: I was all dressed up with a boa and I was with Jeff [Bridges] and I remember so many people at the awards coming over to me and giving me so much approval. I thought for sure Sylvia Sidney would win. And when they said, "Tatum O'Neal," I couldn't believe it.

Paul Le Mat as John Milner, class of 1960
KATZ: From the Hollywood point of view, everyone connected with Graffiti had come up from the sewer. So we were sitting off to the side trashing everyone. And sitting right in front of us is Lew Wasserman [then chairman of Universal parent company MCA]. And he turns around and he says, "Will you shut up!" 

LE MAT: I was watching the Oscars with my girlfriend, and when George's category came on for Best Director, they had the camera on each of the nominees' faces. And when they announced, "The winner is, George..." his face lit up with this great look of expectation. And then they said, "...Roy Hill!" Isn't that awful? He thought he had it.

Cindy Williams and Milner's coupe


HOWARD: American Graffiti really helped a lot of careers. There was kind of a "Graffiti Glow" which lasted for a few years. We were all in demand in ways we hadn't been before. 

DREYFUSS: The people who are in successful movies are cast. That's kind of a law of nature. It just seemed odd because so many of the actors became familiar and recognizable.

FORD: Not too many doors were opened for me. I went back to carpentry, and didn't really work again until [Coppola's] "The Conversation."

PHILLIPS: American Graffiti opened lots of doors that I quickly managed to close all by myself. By the time I was 15, I was doing "One Day at a Time." And by the time I was 18, I was fired from "One Day at a Time."
Mackenzie & cast "One Day at a Time"

SOMERS: I wrote a book of poetry. And, trust me, that was not what the world was waiting for. Then I auditioned for the Dom DeLuise show Lots a Luck at NBC. And while I was sitting in the commissary, in walks Johnny Carson. And he said, "Hey, kiddo, what are you doing here?' And I was scheduled to be on The Tonight Show within a week. I thought the reason he wanted me on was my poetry, but he wanted "the mysterious blond in the T-Bird." So I look at Graffiti as the one night's work that changed my life. I'm so lucky to have passed through George Lucas' life...and to have had an extra lipstick.


CLARK: Out of the blue, before the movie opened, George gave each of us one tenth of a point [of the gross].

HOWARD: It was a totally and completely uncommon act. I don't know if anyone's ever done anything quite like that. I guess he had 12 or 13 points, and he took one of them and split it among the 10 key cast members. Everyone had worked for scale, so it was such a wonderfully gracious thing to do. It ended up being over $50,000 [for each of us].

PHILLIPS: I still get a check every year. It's not a huge check, but there's nothing like mailbox money.

DREYFUSS: George did that on Star Wars, too, and he made people millionaires.

HUYCK: All the money George made on Graffiti went into his own studio and screening rooms and editing facilities and film equipment. He was financing the research and development for Star Wars. 

COPPOLA: George talked about buying Flash Gordon to make into a film someday. But the people who owned the rights wouldn't sell it to him. So he just thought, "I'll go off and create my own thing."

KATZ: George acted out Star Wars--the whole movie--on the floor of our house. We thought he was out of his mind. I didn't get it. He was talking about Chewbacca and Jedi Bandu. We were like, "What?!"

An original press book clipping

Charlie Martin-Smith as Terry "The Toad"
 SMITH: He [Lucas] talked to us about Luke Skywalker while we were shooting Graffiti. He was mentally plotting it out even then. And we all told him we wanted to be in it. When he told us about these characters called Wookiees who were going to be short and furry, I remember Rick Dreyfuss saying "I'm short...I want to be king of the Wookiees!"

 ~  FIN ~