Wednesday, August 3, 2022


Sadly, Bo Hopkins who played, JOE THE PHARAOH in American Graffiti (1973) died of a heart attack last May 28, 2022 in Van Nuys, California. I haven't yet had the chance to comment on this so I'll go ahead now and express a few memories about him here.

The sandy-haired American actor with a "good old boy" persona and Southern drawl, was born William Mauldin Hopkins in February 2, 1938 in Greenville, South Carolina. After a stint in the service he began acting in theater and soon earned guest spots on popular 1960's TV shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza and The Wild Wild West. His first feature film was in the Sam Peckinpah landmark western, The Wild Bunch (1969) which began his illustrious movie career with roles in over one hundred movies and thousands of TV appearances.  

Bo in the Revisionist Western film, "The Wild Bunch" directed by Sam Peckinpah

Of course, American Graffiti fans will always remember him best as the Mercury coupe driving, gang/car club leader, Joe The Pharoah.  His gift for acting is on full display in the film particularly in the scene where his character tries to recruit Curt Henderson (played by Richard Dreyfuss) into his gang.  The initiation rites include vandalizing a patrol car driven by the local small town police officer, Holstein. Hopkins delivers his lines as only he can as he tells Curt, that despite scratching his friend's car earlier he likes him and he's going to give Curt a chance to realize his secret dream of becoming a member of the gang. Of course, Curt, whose planning to leave for college in the morning has absolutely no intention of damaging the cop car OR joining the Pharaohs. Realizing his reluctance, Hopkin's urges him saying, 

Look at it this way:  Now you got three choices. One, you chicken out. In that case, I let Ants tie you to the car and drag you around a little bit. And you don't want that, right? Two, you foul up and Holstein hears you and well, ah... you don't want that, right? Three, you are successful and you join the Pharoahs with a carcoat, and the blood initiation and all that, huh?

Bo (as Joe, the leader of The Pharaohs,) with Beau Gentry & Richard Dreyfuss

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the actor at several events including autograph signings, classic car shows and appearances at American Graffiti celebrations.  He was always relaxed and friendly and willing to engage me in conversation about his role as "Joe" in American Graffiti no matter how often I and others asked the questions. 

I first met Bo at the first annual, Petaluma Celebrates American Graffiti event in California along with some other actors in the film, Candy Clark (who played Debbie,) Manuel Padilla, Jr (Carlos) and Paul Le Mat (John Milner).  During our conversation Hopkins told me that in 1972 he was acting in two films simultaneously, Graffiti and a film starring Burt Reynolds, "White Lightening." In 1973 Reynolds was a huge star and Hopkin's played the character's sidekick in much of the film. Bo mentioned there were a lot of breaks during the production of Graffiti. "It was the beginning of Summer and since I wasn't in every scene I was able to leave the location for several days at a time. So, I would fly out to Arkansas, film a few scenes and then fly back to the Bay Area in the evening and continue acting in Graffiti, It was kind of crazy. By I didn't mind.  I was happy to be working," I also asked him the age-old question about whether when first auditioning for the role he knew the film would become the classic that it is today. He replied, "Shit, I thought just the opposite. I was just sure Burt's film would be a hit but it turns out nobody remembers it. "But," he added, "That little ol' low-budget film, directed by some guy named, Lucas turned out to be a winner and people are still asking about to this day!"  

More American Graffiti (1979) promotional pic sent out to newspapers 

Bo couldn't have been more right.  Graffiti was a winner.  In 1974 it won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture for a Comedy or Musical. It was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Candy Clark) and Best Film Editing. It also won several several Best Picture awards at well established events including New York Film Critics Circle Awards and the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards. Of course, that's to say nothing of the accolades the film continues to receive from film fans and classic cars enthusiasts to this day. But I digress...

Bo and co-star, Candy Cark in Marietta, Georgia at one of many "Graffiti" re-screenings

I saw Bo again at a classic car show on the Cal Expo state fairgrounds in Sacramento, California. The yellow,1932 Ford coupe featured in Graffiti was on display. Hopkins was sitting at a collapsible table alongside actors, Candy Clark and Paul Le Mat. They were surrounded with fans who waited in line to have them sign photos and various Graffiti memorabilia.  I too waited in line, this time to have him sign a picture of Wolfman Jack and himself at the premiere of Graffiti. I was also going to video tape an interview with him and later that day I did but unfortunately, it was erased when I accidentally taped over it to interview his Graffiti co-stars, Candy Clark and Paul Le Matt (which you can find on You Tube), 

When I reached the front of the line, much to my delight, Bo looked up recognized me (yes I said, he recognized me) and he spontaneously began reenacting the famous scene in Graffiti when his character first encounters Curt (Dreyfus) sitting on the hood of a parked car and menacingly asks, "Whadaya doin', creep?" I, of course reacted by doing what any film nerd and Bo Hopkins fan would do, I countered with Curt's response, "Me?" To which he replied, "No, I'm talking to the other fifty creeps here." This really was a secret dream come true. Here I was running lines from my favorite movie since childhood with the actual actor from the film. The real deal.  I waited for him to finish the next line from the script, "You know Gil Gonzales?" but he didn't continue. That was fine with me. I was star-struck and a little nervous anyway and would not have been able to continue responding with lines from the script that I had memorized since I was 12 years-old.  

One of several photos that Bo signed for this writer

I don't remember our entire conversation that day, eleven years ago, but I must not have seemed like a total “creep” because he asked me to watch his stuff at his autograph table for awhile as he explored the event and viewed the cars on display. I obliged. I remember how important I felt as I sat there in Bo's chair thinking, "Hey everybody look at me, I'm friends with film star, Bo Hopkins!" He was gone for an hour or so. People would stop and ask, "Where's Bo?" and I would tell them with great authority, "He's out getting lunch but he'll be back soon."  When Bo finally returned we chatted a bit longer. In his down to earth demeanor he told me about his hobbies; fishing, reading and (I think,) painting. Then he thanked me by giving me a warm handshake and signing a color 8x10 screenshot of himself from American Graffiti.  As I write this, the photo rests on my bedroom wall along with my college diplomas and dozens of other autographed movie photos. The inscription on the photo reads, simply, "To Mark, Thanks, Bo Hopkins." Thank you Bo Hopkins. Thank you for bringing happiness to myself and so many people out there, whether you were on screen or off.

Bored as Hell and Nothing to Rebel Against!

(Above) Ben Mankiewicz with Bo, Candy Clark & Paul Le Mat discussing "American Graffiti" at a 2014, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel poolside screening

Bo & American Graffiti co-star/friend, Candy Clark Photo: Stephanie Keenan


Friday, April 19, 2019


“Sup Dawg?  This time,we gonna drop it when it’s hot!”  Oh, wow, how do i segue from mid-'90's rap in my ear buds to further back to the Summer of 1972. No, NOT “Summer of ’42.” That is an altogether different nostalgic coming-of-age movie that’s both touching and humorous. This entry on our obsessive fan-based website/blog, “Kip’s American Graffiti Blog” (FYI - sometimes referred to as “KIP PULLMAN’S AMERICAN GRAFFITI BLOG”) we present to you (because you never asked) the entire shooting schedule of, yes, you guessed it, AMERICAN GRAFFITI.  For those of you who aren’t in film school, or living in your mom’s basement watching and studying movies all day (and night) I’m going to  give you a generic definition of the term Shooting Schedule.  A movie shooting schedule is essentially a detailed plan that presents all the necessary information about all the details involved in filmmaking. The schedule is generally prepared by an assistant director who reports to the production manager who manages the Production Schedule.  It usually has details about actors, locations, technicians, animals, special effects, vehicles, etc., related to the production of the film.  It represents a timeline which states where and when production resources are used.  The schedule can be changed as needed in pre-production stage.  However, once established, everyone involved has to honor it. No change is effected in the production of the film without consideration to the shooting schedule.  An established format of shooting schedule is followed and given to producers and everyone in the film.  The information presented here is from the daily progress reports as printed in the coffee-table-sized book, “The Cinema of George Lucas” by Marcus Hearn.  The dialogue excerpts are from the second draft of the script dated May 10, 1972 with the original title: “ROCK RADIO…IS…AMERICAN GRAFFITI…SAGA OF THE LOW-RIDERS” written by George Lucas, Gloria Katz, & Willard Huyck.    So, I'm setting down the Gin & Juice and pickin' up a bottle of Old Harper & Coke just to get myself into the spirit of things, ya understand?!                    


Jana Bellan as carhop waitress, Budda standing with arms crosed her chest probably an attempt to stay warm (San Francisco Summer can be cold in the late eve. She , Lucas and staff prepare to shoot take 3 of 4 where Budda turns down Toad for a date

SHOOT Day 1:  Monday, June 26, 1972

CALL 7:00pm                WRAP:  5:30am

LOCATION:  4th St (Between C st. and Lincoln) San Rafael, CA

Scenes:  EXT STREET & COUPE (John and Carol) Scene Sc. 22 (John “I don’t like that surfing crap.  Rock –n-roll’s been going downhill since Buddy Holly died”) 

Pages 2-6/8 

Setups: 10

SHOOT DAY 2:  Tuesday, June 27, 1972

CALL 8:00pm                WRAP:  6:40am

LOCATION:  4th St (Between C. and Lincoln) San Rafael, CA

Scenes:  EXT STREET & COUPE (John & Carol).  [John: “How old are you?” Carol: “Old enough.  How old are you?”   “Too old for you,”]

Pages: 4-7/8

Set Ups:  19

NOTES:  Unable to clear or control street as planned due to City Council Order to San Rafael Police Department

American Graffiti radio spots

SHOOT DAY 3:  Thursday, June 28, 1972

CALL 7:30                    WRAP:  5:40am

LOCATION:  Oakhill Park & Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA.

Scenes: EXT STREET (Coupe/Water Balloon/Park)

Pages:  3: -2/8

Setups:  29

Cars:  ’32 Coupe, Studebaker, 24 atmosphere cars

SHOOT Day 4:  Thursday, June 29, 1972

CALL 7:30pm                WRAP:  5:30am

LOCATION:  Petaluma Streets, Petaluma

Scenes:  EXT STREET & COUPE (Coupe & Falfa).  Scene 54 [Carol] Carol: "He’s fast” John: “Yeah, 'but he’s stupid.”

Pages 2-7/8

Setups:  28

Mackenzie Phillips and Pau Le Mat rehearse their lines as Lucas (red jacket in window) watches. 

SHOOT Day 5:  Friday, June 30, 1972

CALL 6:30pm                WRAP:  5:40am

LOCATION:  Rusty’s Auto Wrecking, 21481 8th St East, Sonoma, CA; Scene 30 (song indicated [“It’s just a matter of time”]

Pages 3-7/8

Setups:  23

Livestock: 1 dog

Paul Le Mat "John Milner"

SHOOT Day 6:  Monday July 3, 1972

CALL 7:30pm                WRAP:  5:40am

LOCATION:  4th Street San Rafael

Scenes:  EXT STREET (Coupe/BA/Bozo, etc)  Scene 24 [Traveling-Terry-Mercury”: song indicated: "Almost Grown”]  Sc 27 [Driver-Mercury: “Toad is that you in that beautiful car?"  Terry nods casually. “Jeeze what a waste of machinery.”]

Pages:  4

Setups: 16

HOLIDAY:  July 4, 1972
No work


"Oh, yes, I'm the great pretender, wha, wha..."      (Photo: Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos)

SHOOT DAY 7: Wednesday July 5

CALL: 7:30pm               WRAP:  5:30am

Location:  Wilson’s Appliance Store, 145 Kentucky Ave., Petaluma; Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot, Petaluma Blvd.

Scenes: EXT TV APPLIANCE STORE. Sc. 36 [Curt is shanghaied by the Pharaohs]





Bo Hopkins as "Joe the Pharaoh"

SHOOT DAY 8 Thursday, July 6

CALL: 7:30pm               WRAP: 5:45am

LOCATION: Richmond Streets, Richmond CA; Miniature Golf Course/Office, Pinole

SCENES: EXT STREET (Hoods/Curt/Merc)

EXT.  Miniature Golf Course

INT.  HOLE-IN-ONE OFFICE Sc. 48 [Joe: “We’re outta gas.” Curt: “They don’t sell gas here”  “We’re outta money too.”]

PAGES:  6-1/8


SHOOT DAY 9:  Friday, July 7

CALL: 7:30pm               WRAP:  5:15

LOCATION:  Chamber of Commerce Lot, Petaluma Blvd. North

SCENES:  EXT PARKING LOT, Sc. 62 [the patrol car loses its trans-axle and two rear wheels.]

PAGES:   1-7/8


SHOOT DAY 10:  Monday, July 10

CALL: 7:00pm               WRAP: 6:00am

LOCATION:  Mels Drive-in,140 S. Van Ness near Mission  San Francisco, CA

SCENES:  EXT. DRIVE IN, Sc 2 [“A large neon sign buzzes in the foreground, “Burger City,” while in the background, Rock Around the Clock” blares from the radio of a beautiful decked and channeled candy-apple red, tuck and rolled ’53 Merc that glides into the Drive-in.”]



CARS:  Citroen

SR EQUIPMENT: (1) Jeep Crane #4

SHOOTING DAY 11: Tuesday, July 11

CALL:  7:00pm              WRAP:  6:00am

LOCATION:  Mels Drive-in, San Francisco

Scenes EXT DRIVE-IN, Sc. 42 [John orders Carol a Coke; Song designated: In the Still of the Night.”]



Donna Wehr as Carhop

SHOOT DAY: 12 Wednesday, July 12

CALL: 6:30pm   WRAP:  5:30am

LOCATION: Mel’s Drive-in, San Francisco

Scenes EXT. DRIVE-IN, Sc72

Pages 5-2/8


Filming Ron Howard in an interior scene at Mels Drive-in. Lucas (under counter), Haskel Wexler (behind camera)

SHOOT DAY 13: Thursday, July 13

CALL: 7:30pm   WRAP: 5:30am

LOCATION: C of C. Lot, Petaluma.  Petaluma Streets



EXT. CAR LOT/COPS (retake)

PAGES: 1-2/8


SHOOT DAY 14: Friday July 14

CALL: 6:30pm               WRAP:  5:26am

LOCATION: Marin Memorial Cemetery, Novato

SCENES: EXT CANAL. [Laurie gets angry with Steve;

The Merc is stolen; talk of the “Goat Killer”

PAGES: 4-2/8


 SHOOT DAY 15: Monday, July 17

CALL: 6:00am               WRAP: 7:49

LOCATION: Mel’s Drive-in, San Francisco


EXT. DRIVE-IN, Sc [Curt speaking on the phone to the blonde in the white T-bird: “It’s important to me..You’re the most perfect beautiful creature I’ve ever seen and I don’t know anything about.  Could we meet someplace?” Voice:  “I cruise 3rd Street every Night.  Maybe I’ll see you again tonight.”  “I don’t think So…I’m leaving in a couple of hours.”



Notes:  (1) Éclair camera fell off tripod-badly damaged

SHOOT DAY 16: Tuesday July 18

CALL: 6:30pm               WRAP: 5:26am

LOCATION:  Marin, Memorial Cemetery, Novato;& Petaluma Streets, Petaluma



PAGES: 2-4/8


NOTES:  Light rain from 1:30am to wrap prevented completion of scheduled scenes, streets too wet.

Ed Greenberg "Kip Pullman."

SHOOT DAY: 17 Wednesday July 19

CALL: 7:30                   WRAP: 5:37

LOCATION: Petaluma Streets (Petaluma Blvd.,Kentucky, Washington, Western)

SCENES EXT. STREET (Curt/V.W./T-Bird/Kip) Sc. 29

[Shouting from on e car to another, Kip:  “Henderson, Long time no see.  What’cha been doing?” Curt: “Not much, just wanted to let you know that Bobbie here is hopelessly in love with you and trembles at the sight of your rippling biceps…” Bobbie turns in the V.W. and “starts flailing at Curt with her purse.”]

PAGES: 1-2/8


Debbie Celiz, Lynne Marie Stewart & Richard Dreyfuss

SHOOT DAY 18:  Thursday July 20

CALL: 7:30                   WRAP: 5:45

LOCATION Rowena Lane (KTOB transmitter), Petaluma, Lazy-Me Used Cars, 320 Petaluma Blvd.; North Petaluma streets.

SCENES EXT. RADIO STATION, Sc. 70 [Manager: “The Wolfman is everywhere…Listen-no offense to your hometown here, but this ain’t exactly the hub of the universe…Hell, here I sit while there’s a whole big beautiful world out there.”]





KTOB radio, tower site located on Rovina Ln. was Petaluma's local community radio station for many decades. The exterior scenes of Curt approaching Wolfman's radio station were filmed here. circa 1961

Friday 7-21-72 - Company DID NOT WORK

SHOOT DAY 19:  Saturday, July 22

CALL: 12:00pm             WRAP: 8:45pm

LOCATION:  Marin Memorial, Cemetery, Novato


PAGES:  4-1/8


Directing is all in the hands   (Photo: Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos)

SHOOT DAY 20: Sunday, July 23

CALL: 7:30                   WRAP: 5:40

LOCATION:  4th St., San Rafael




Note:  4 cameras used…one Jeep crane

Candy Clark "Debbie" rests between takes on the hood of a car.       (Photo: Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos)

SHOOT DAY 21:  Monday, July 24

CALL: 8:30pm               WRAP: 6:30am

LOCATION:  Sanders Used Cars (B St. and Petaluma Blvd North); EZ Pickins Gas Station,

U.S. 101 (South of Petaluma); Frates Road, Sonoma County



EXT. GAS STA., Sc 66 [Attendant (to John): “Why do they even try…Hell; you’ve been number one longer than I can remember…”]

EXT PARADISE ROAD, Sc 75 [“Both cars roar off the starting line, tires smoking and screaming.”]

PAGES:  2-4/8


Climactic drag race on Frates Road "Paradise Road" in Petaluma, CA

SHOOT DAY 22: Tuesday, July 25

CALL: 8:30pm               WRAP:  6:40pm

LOCATION: Petaluma High School; Pet Streets; Frates Road.

SCENES EXT.  GYM PARKING LOT, sc 21 [Wendy: “Same old Curt.  All the time we were going together you never knew what you were doing.”]



PAGES:  2-2/8


NOTE: Blew reverse gear in ’32 Coupe

100 block Petaluma Blvd. North (circa 1986) Sonoma Co. Library

SHOOT DAY 23:  Wednesday, July 26

CALL:  8:30pm              WRAP: 6:30am

LOCATION:  Rear of Beasley’s Rest. (Petaluma Blvd. N. &Washington); Pet. Streets, Frates Road


EXT. STREETS (Curt/T-Bird)




NOTE:  1st attempt to roll car failed…approx. 6:10 Am. Continued to shoot until wrap.   Car unable to repeat run due to broken tie rod.

Beasley's Eats' (circa 1975) rear parking area located on Water Street, Petaluma. In a picture that resembles a screen shot  from the film, GOODFELLAS, the general location to the parking lot, left of the restuarant is the parking location where Toad (Charles Martin Smith) got sick, beat up and rescued by John Milner (Paul Le Mat).  

SHOOT DAY 24:  Thursday, July 27

CALL:   8:30pm             WRAP: 6:40am

LOCATION: EZ Pickins, U.S. 101; Public Parking

Lot, Petaluma Blvd.; Streets and sidewalk, Petaluma Frates Road

SCENES EXT. GAS STATION (pick-up c.u. “John”)




PAGES:  3-3/8


NOTE: 2nd attempt at car stunt failed…Bent right tie rod.

SHOOT DAY 25:  Monday, July 31

CALL:  8:00am              WRAP: 8:00pm

LOCATION: Petaluma High School, Marin Memorial Cemetery, Novato





PAGES:  1-5/8


NOTE:  Retakes needed at Canal location due to underexposed film.
Candy Clark & Charles Martin Smith at the canal 

SHOOT DAY 26:  Tuesday, Aug 1

CALL: 10:00am              WRAP: 10:10pm

LOCATION: Mt. Tamalpias High School- Boy’s Gym, Mill Valley

SCENES INT. GYM (Sock Hop), Sc. 14 [designated song: “At the Hop”]

PAGES:  6-1/8


NOTE:  4 cameras used

SHOOT DAY 27:  Wednesday, August 2

CALL: 8:30pm               WRAP: 6:15am

LOCATION: Petaluma High School; Pet. Streets



EXT. DRIVE-IN (retake)

PAGES:  2-7/8


SHOOT DAY 28:  Thursday, August 3

CALL:  8:30pm              WRAP: 6:40am

LOCATION: KRE Radio, Berkeley; Buchanan Field, Concord




PAGES:  4-2/8


NOTE:  Airplane unable to taxi off due to flat left tires.  Did not get shot of plane airborne.

SHOOT DAY 29: Friday, August 4

CALL: 8:30pm               WRAP:  9:30am

LOCATION: 884 Bodega Ave., Petaluma; Frates Road;. Buchanan Field (2nd unit)

SCENES EXT. /INT LIQUOR STORE, Sc. 44 [Toad tries to buy the elusive bottle of “Old Harper. Designated song:Teenager in Love”]


EXT. AIRPORT/AIRPLANE, SC. 79 [“Curt listens to the radio as the plane takes off.  As it climbs and banks out over the valley, the music fades and the station drifts between static and other stations an then it’s gone.  Curt turns off the radio and looks out the window.  As the plane banks, the wing tips down and through the window Curt sees the yellow Thunderbird crossing beneath on the small grey ribbon of highway.  Curt leans up, watching it-the plane shadow ripples over the car and then it’s gone”]

PAGES:  4-1/8


NOTES:  Low overcast prevented shooting at Frates Road location until 8:40am.  Stunt again failed to work. “A” arm and tie rods bent. (1) cameraman & (1) asst. cameraman to airport to film plane take off after company wrap at Frates Road location.

Wrap 1st unit shooting “AMERICAN GRAFFITI”

2nd UNIT SHOOTING: Monday, 8/7/72

CALL: 4:00am               WRAP: 10:42am

LOCATION: Frates Road

SCENES:  EXT PARADISE ROAD (retake stunt and explosion only)

EXT. ROAD/T-BIRD (aerial shot)

NOTE:  Used Cessna as camera plane f/aerial shot.

(4) cameras used on stunt.



Actress, Sylvia Koscina. 1962