10 Movies That Actually Benefitted From Studio Interference

9. American Graffiti

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George Lucas. Whilst he’s known well nowadays for some pretty whacky movie choices, his early effort American Graffiti was a relatively straightforward affair.

A coming-of-age comedy inspired by the Rock n Roll Cruising culture of Lucas’s teenage years, the ensemble cast included future heavyweights like Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford as a group of high school graduates spending one final night cruising the Modesto Strip.

The ending is bittersweet, revealing that two of our four main lead characters would go on to be killed in car crashes or the Vietnam War, whilst lead character Curt never actually achieves a meet-cute between himself and a mysterious character only referred to as “The Blonde”. This is despite desperately seeking her out for most of the film, even going as far as to get a local radio DJ to broadcast his romantic overtures.

In a frankly bonkers twist, Lucas originally wanted “The Blonde” to turn completely transparent - car and all - near the end of the film, revealing her to be a ghost the whole time (or a hallucination? Who knows, it was the Sixties). Up until this point in the plot “The Blonde” had been a mysterious but completely grounded character, making this reveal all the more unusual.

Universal Pictures firmly nipped this idea in the bud, however, citing budgetary reasons. Had Lucas got his way, there’s a possibility the cultural impact of the movie would have been lessened.

Given that Universal was the only studio willing to take a risk on the young director at the time, Georgie boy toed the line. It’s not like he wouldn’t have another opportunity to realise some of his more eccentric ideas elsewhere.

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Total goblin. Quit the food and beverage industry after ten years to try my hand at writing nonsense online. I have a huge passion for film, television, cats, art, tattoos, food, anarchy and classic literature (mainly Dune). Currently based at my mum's house, I can be best reached on Instagram (@charlie_marx) where I attempt to soothe my mental health with memes.