The pilot for the popular sitcom, Happy Days, first shown on the anthology show called Love, American Style
Which, remarkably, shared several cast members from this early George Lucas film:
due in part to the fact that George Lucas liked Ronnie (as he was still known then) Howard for this film, which was just beginning production. American Graffiti, I argue, takes place near the end of the 1950s (or certainly, before the beginning of the cultural 1960s) 1962--before the Beatles.
That is how the 1950s culture is remembered, nostalgically, from the 1970s--but how did the culture of the time portray it?
From one of Stanley Kubrick's other films, The Killing (1955)
The Killing is an example of a popular style of film that was produced throughout the 1950s called film noir, which generally had a downbeat topic, often dealing with criminals or police officers of dubious character
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson (1955)
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1953)
Nostalgia and History