The Graduate (1967)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


The Graduate (1967) Poster

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.


8/10
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  • Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)
  • Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)
  • Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967)
  • Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)
  • Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967)
  • Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967)

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11 October 2017 | gab-14712
8
| Hello, Mrs. Robinson!
"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" If there is a movie that can hit viewers of all age from this groovy decade of the 1960's, I would have to choose The Graduate. At it's base, the movie is a coming-of-age story and usually those kind of stories relate with people of all ages. The younger generation may be living through the same eyes as the characters in the story and the older generation gets nostalgia as they remember the days of old. In fact, this movie is a favorite of my family. They grew up in the era when this film is released, so they understand the struggles the character is going through. Also the movie is recognizable because it is a damn fine piece of art. It took me years to see the film, and I finally did so recently. It did not hit me as strongly as it did with my family or other people of their generation, but there is no denying how good the film is.

I feel like I can relate to the film somewhat because I'm in the same boat of our main character, Ben Braddock. Ben is a recent college graduate, but is struggling to find a life after college. I know how he feels, because I have the same struggles in a much more competitive world. I can also relate to Ben's personality, because I had similar traits years ago. Ben, in the film, struggles mightily around females because of his awkwardness. Back in my teenage days, I had similar issues. Although I eventually changed and I never fell for any older women like…..ahem….Ben does. But people adore this movie because of its very relatable themes involving post-graduation life.

One of the popular things about the movie was its soundtrack. The film heavily relied upon folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel to provide the music, and provide the music they certainly did. One would say their most famous song is "Mrs. Robinson." Now you know where the song received its personality. Personally, I loved the music in the film but other people, such as the late great Roger Ebert had major qualms about the music. But everyone is subjected to their own opinions because everyone usually have different opinions about any single movie.

This film follows around this kid, Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) as he joins the big, wide world after college graduation. Everyone expects great things out of him, especially his parents (played by William Daniels and Elizabeth Wilson). At a homecoming party of his, Ben is asked to drive Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) home. Mrs. Robinson is the wife of his father's business partner (Murray Hamilton). After Ben drove the seductive older woman home, they begin an affair. But things take a sharp turn when Ben meets Mrs. Robinson's daughter, Elaine (Katherine Ross)…….and falls in love with her. Now with two women in his romantic life with the affair unbeknownst to each other, Ben is going to have a lot of work to do.

The film partly works because of its fine, naturalistic performances. Dustin Hoffman, despite being 29 at the film's release, convincingly plays Braddock as a shy, awkward kid who wants to take this time in joining the real world. Hoffman will become a big star, and this is the first piece in helping him do so. My word, I really enjoyed Anne Bancroft's performance as the seductive wife. She could have stolen any guy's heart with her portrayal. It's funny because she was supposed to be the older woman in the picture, but she's only six years older than Hoffman is. Those of you who seen the 90's sitcom, Boy Meets World, you'll recognize Mr. Feeney himself, William Daniels who played Ben's dad. He has some amusing scenes, and I particularly liked the scene where he forces his son to try on a scuba diving outfit much to Ben's chagrin. Murray Hamilton has a rather smallish role as Mr. Robinson, but I thought he did a fine job and likewise for Katherine Ross as Elaine, whom we don't meet until much later in the film.

Mike Nichols was a well-known director who is known for his quirkiness and sensibilities in all of his films. He sadly passed away earlier this year, but he left behind a legacy of well-known works. The Graduate is his first feature film and boy what a way to introduce yourself to Hollywood. He does an amazing job directing this film and it's no surprise he won Best Director at the Oscars for his first film directorial effort. He told the story in a very crisp away and he never slowed down.

The film works as a comedy and a drama, but its not funny in a way you would think. The comedy is more subtle, and that makes it refreshing. However, not everything meant as comedy I found funny. You can blame me living in a different generation for that. The movie also offers some unforgettable scenes. The very last scene with Elaine and Ben in a bus…..just a classic scene and quite funny. Just watch the movie, and you'll see what I mean.

Despite how much I enjoyed The Graduate, not all is perfect. The film feels outdated. What worked in the 1960's doesn't always work well today. Some jokes are not as funny and on the technical side of the film, it doesn't hold up well. As one would say, the movie has rusty pipes. But those pipes still work perfectly fine. Thanks to the music, the performances, and the themes, The Graduate is a lesson that all young people should learn and it's a movie that still appeals to the older generations. I enjoyed this film, even if other people enjoyed it more than I did.

My Grade: B+

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spoofed by multiple episodes of The Simpsons (1989). One is season two, episode nineteen, "Lisa's Substitute", with Dustin Hoffman (as "Sam Etic") playing a substitute teacher who, after she hits on him, says, "Mrs. Krabappel, you're trying to seduce me!" Another is season two, episode eleven, "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish", which has Homer (believing he has only a few hours to live) running down a street to get home to Marge, accompanied by a guitar solo resembling the one played as Benjamin runs to the church. He then pounds on his living room window and shouts, "Marge, Marge!" Another is season five, episode twenty-one, "Lady Bouvier's Lover", which has Grandpa Simpson pounding on a church window to stop Marge's mother, Jacqueline Bouvier, from marrying Mr. Burns, repeatedly shouting "Mrs. Bouvier!" They both run out of the church and jump onto a bus. The episode's closing song parodies "The Sound of Silence".


Quotes

Pilot: Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin our descent into Los Angeles. The sound you just heard is the landing gear locking into place. Los Angeles weather is clear; temperature is 72. We expect to make our 4 hour and 18 minute flight on schedule...


Goofs

When Ben tells his parents he is going to Berkley to see Elaine he is wearing a black collared shirt under a brown jacket. When he is sitting on the fountain at Berkley waiting for Elaine it switches to a white collared shirt, then back to black in the next scene when he is getting a room.


Alternate Versions

A change from the theatrical re-release for the 25th anniversary and the video release. In the first Taft Hotel bedroom scene, a nervous Ben asks Mrs. Robinson if she would like "Wood or wire [hanger]?" In the theater, her response was, "wood." Which led to the wonderful pratfall of Ben trying to take the wood one, which wouldn't come off. But it was changed in the 25th anniversary video release and her response was, "Either one would be fine."


Soundtracks

April Come She Will
(uncredited)
Written by
Paul Simon
Performed by Simon & Garfunkel
Courtesy of CBS Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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