The striking visuals and sound collage point to the collaborative genius of director George Lucas who had the good sense to involve brilliant stylists (here, editors Verna Fields and Marcia Lucas, sound recorder Walter Murch, and Haskell Wexler, listed as “visual consultant”, though the cinematography is credited to Jan D’Alquen and Ron Eveslage) and the immensely talented professionals working in harmony gives you the feeling of watching a lovingly creative family as they innovate. Lucas and co-scenarists Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck have fashioned a sweet-tempered ode to the end of adolescence as played out on the last night of summer vacation for Camelot-era high school graduates planning diverging life paths in the morning; they precisely capture the rueful melancholy and idealism that teenagers about to step into the void feel and combine them with a graceful slapstick that makes the touching symbolism easy to identify with. The performances are equally inspired, from Richard Dreyfuss’ sensitive confliction to Paul Le Mat’s easygoing charm infused with despondency to Ron Howard’s all-around nice guy/pushover and Charles Martin Smith’s painful grabs at acceptance. It’s a film with a male point of view but this time around, that’s not a bad thing—there’s a naïve misunderstanding of women that seems deliberate and affectionately wrong-headed and it dovetails perfectly with the overall wistful sense of young aimlessness. The soundtrack alone makes this worth seeing. Toni Basil did the choreography, most notably a memorable sock hop that takes up an early portion of the picture. Whatever drubbing Lucas has taken since “Star Wars”, at least he can point with pride to this critical Seventies masterpiece.