If you assumed American Graffiti would be the one film George Lucas wouldn’t alter, then you’re wrong: Even here he couldn’t resist redoing the titles or touching up skies with CGI. Still, at least he refrained from throwing in Charles Martin Smith astride a dewback or having Harrison Ford shoot out of self-defense. Though Graffiti’s upbeat tone often excludes it from discussion of ’70s Hollywood auteur cinema, Lucas’ retro saga—set in Modesto, California, 1962—remains formally daring. Even in 1973 it was considered outre to craft a plotless night-in-the-life of teenagers that didn’t include several drag races, knife fights, or any other staples of Roger Corman programmers. It’s a realistic outing for a filmmaker typically lost in fantasy, and though the film birthed the nostalgia wave of the ’70s, neither Grease nor Happy Days concluded with a note on the grim fates that befell some of its characters.