• Tom Symmons


The 1970s nostalgia boom in American popular culture centred on a popular craze for the 1950s. This wave of nostalgia reflected a tendency to idealise the era as one of youthful innocence, social stability, economic security and global dominance, and was the inspiration for a wave of Fifties films. The two most emblematic and commercially successful of these films—American Graffiti (Lucas, 1973) and Grease (Kleiser, 1978)—are the subject of this chapter, which accounts for their significance with audiences in the 1970s. Demonstrating the complexity and diversity of the Fifties, it contends that the popularity and legitimacy of nostalgia for the 1950s arose from the era’s oppositional relationship to the social upheaval, political turbulence and economic uncertainty of the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Film Industry American Film Hollywood Film American Popular Culture Suburban Middle Class 
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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Symmons
    • 1
  1. 1.Arcadia UniversityLondonUK

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