Originally released at 110 min.; re-edited and re-released in a slightly longer version (112 min.) in 1978 when many of its then-unknown stars became famous.
The 1978 re-release version was re-mixed for Dolby Stereo, which was not available when American Graffiti was produced.
One version has appeared on television with several scenes cut, including the entire sock hop except for the Louie, Louie sequence (which, ironically, was added to the 1978 re-release).
In addition to the Louie, Louie sequence at the hop, the reissued version had two other scenes added to the original release: Terry's exchange at the used car lot just before the first hop sequence, and Bob Falfa singing Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific after he picks up Laurie. In the original release, John Milner is listed as having been killed by a drunk driver in June of 1964 in the closing segment just before the final credits. When the movie was reedited in 1978, the date of his death was changed to December of 1964, most likely in anticipation of the release of its sequel, More American Graffiti.
One minor digital effect has been added, likely at the request of director George Lucas, and can be found on the 1998 Collector's Edition DVD. In the original theatrical release when the movie title credit appears on screen in front of Mel's Drive-In, all that is seen behind the diner are buildings. On the DVD, a view of dusk setting in has been digitally added in the shot where the buildings originally were. The original shot used in the film can be seen at the opening of the American Graffiti documentary, which is on the same 1998 Collector's Edition DVD.
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