Thursday, August 27, 2015

WHO WAS WINNING THE DRAG RACE ON PARADISE ROAD???


WAS FALFA BEATING MILNER???? Whether Falfa would have won the drag race in American Graffiti may be pure speculation. In the film it looks like the cars were neck in neck and Milner was starting to take the lead when Falfa's car began to run off the road. It’s ambiguous at best. The original rough draft (dated May 10, 1972) script reads, "Falfa's engine is winding incredibly and he begins to get the edge on John. The cars rocket through the dawn light along the flashing white line until Falfa's car hits the shoulder, his front wheel slips off...etc." So in the script it alludes to Falfa taking the lead at some point. However, things look different in the actual film where it looks to me like Milner is gaining on Falfa BEFORE Falfa hits the shoulder. But ultimately, the fact that Milner was winning is given credence by the actor who played Milner, Paul LeMat. When I spoke with actor, Paul LeMat he said that Milner was winning the drag race and he was told to pretend like he thought he lost. “He’s convinced he was losing the race,” said LeMat. “That’s not the fact or the way we were suppose to film it. Here I was thinking I lost the race but it was obvious to other people like Toad that I wasn’t losing the race.” I asked LeMat, Was Milner winning the race? He responded emphatically, “YES.” "But, I was supposed to act like I thought I was losing. I remember,” he continued, “that I tried to work it out without making him look insane that he was sure that he thought his time had come. Like he has obsessed about it so much. The race was so close that that was it for him. That was bad enough. That was worse. ‘I lost it, I lost it!’ LeMat compared it to a boxing match. “It’s similar to a fighter who wins a whole lot of fights and then he just BARELY wins one. He thinks, oh, my God! Did I lose it? I didn’t knock the guy out and he was beating me up. The other times it was so much easier. LeMatt said I still don’t think that scene works ‘cause I get people [fans] saying to me all the time, ‘You won the race what were you talking about?’ So there you have it: MILNER WAS WINNING! Now, go home and get your shine box! 

To see my whole interview with Paul LeMat watch the video below or go to You Tube: 




~ FINE ~

__________________ 

Irish McCalla

3 comments:

  1. Another excellent piece, thanks Kip buddy

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  2. Han Solo shot first! Okay, actually, Milner was winning the entire time. He wasn't killing Falfa but he was edging out, and then the crash happened. And of course we know the reason Falfa crashed, story-wise, is to bring Steve and Laurie back together. I always kinda wish the race continued and we'd see the real winner, who of course would be Milner but... we need a firey ending. Falfa's car was like the Death Star, so to speak (vice versa).

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  3. There's a loud bang before Falfa's car swerves and hits the shoulder. Tire blowout?
    I've never seen or heard this mentioned in a discussion of the race. It happens at the 1:00 mark in the youtube "Drag Race at Paradise Road" clip. Give it a look and listen.
    See what you think? Btw, nice pinup.

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