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The Graduate

4.2 17
Director: Mike Nichols, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross

Cast: Mike Nichols, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross


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"Just one word: plastic." "Are you here for an affair?" These lines and others became cultural touchstones, as 1960s youth rebellion seeped into the California upper middle-class in Mike Nichols' landmark hit. Mentally adrift the summer after graduating from college, suburbanite Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) would rather float in his parents' pool than follow


"Just one word: plastic." "Are you here for an affair?" These lines and others became cultural touchstones, as 1960s youth rebellion seeped into the California upper middle-class in Mike Nichols' landmark hit. Mentally adrift the summer after graduating from college, suburbanite Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) would rather float in his parents' pool than follow adult advice about his future. But the exhortation of family friend Mr. Robinson (Murray Hamilton) to seize every possible opportunity inspires Ben to accept an offer of sex from icily feline Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). The affair and the pool are all well and good until Ben is pushed to go out with the Robinsons' daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) and he falls in love with her. Mrs. Robinson sabotages the relationship and an understandably disgusted Elaine runs back to college. Determined not to let Elaine get away, Ben follows her to school and then disrupts her family-sanctioned wedding. None too happy about her pre-determined destiny, Elaine flees with Ben -- but to what? Directing his second feature film after Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Nichols matched the story's satire of suffocating middle-class shallowness with an anti-Hollywood style influenced by the then-voguish French New Wave. Using odd angles, jittery editing, and evocative widescreen photography, Nichols welded a hip New Wave style and a generation-gap theme to a fairly traditional screwball comedy script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham from Charles Webb's novel. Adding to the European art film sensibility, the movie offers an unsettling and ambiguous ending with no firm closure. And rather than Robert Redford, Nichols opted for a less glamorous unknown for the pivotal role of Ben, turning Hoffman into a star and opening the door for unconventional leading men throughout the 1970s. With a pop-song score written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon & Garfunkel bolstering its contemporary appeal, The Graduate opened to rave reviews in December 1967 and surpassed all commercial expectations. It became the top-grossing film of 1968 and was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Actor, and Actress, with Nichols winning Best Director. Together with Bonnie and Clyde, it stands as one of the most influential films of the late '60s, as its mordant dissection of the generation gap helped lead the way to the youth-oriented Hollywood artistic "renaissance" of the early '70s.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Rachel Saltz
In this archetypal '60s comedy, Mike Nichols provided laughs to accompany the malaise of a generation obsessed with the generation gap. What, after all, is a well-meaning young man with a college degree supposed to do -- go into plastics? Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock, the graduate of the title, assumes there must be something more to life. And there is: seduction in the form of the older Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) and love in the form of her daughter (Katharine Ross). Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin is so vivid that the role made him a star, and he's well-matched by Anne Bancroft's needy and naughty suburban matron Mrs. Robinson, a character who has entered our folk mythology. Together they have some of the sharpest, funniest older woman/younger man scenes in all of film. A huge hit when first released, The Graduate, which won Nichols an Academy Award for Best Director, is a perennial favorite that continues to delight audiences.
All Movie Guide
The image of young Benjamin Braddock appearing at his parents' swank pool party fully clad in scuba gear remains one of the most satisfying images of youthful alienation ever captured on celluloid. Confused, cut off, and trapped in the claustrophobia of trying to figure out what he's going to do with himself, Benjamin is a model of dissatisfied aimlessness caught up in the whirl of parental and societal expectation. Not surprisingly, his character struck a chord with 1967 audiences, and The Graduate became the highest-grossing film of 1968 and a landmark in the cinema of hip, New Wave, antiestablishment disillusionment. While an enduring classic for its perpetual topicality, and a harbinger of similar dissections of youthful disenchantment that permeated the late '60s and 1970s, The Graduate was also remarkable for providing an unrevolutionary revolution. Benjamin is ultimately a bored, confused young man who has an affair with an older woman (played by an actress only six years Dustin Hoffman's senior), discovers he loves her daughter, and impetuously absconds with the girl to a future offering yet more disillusionment. To top it off, Benjamin's not even that great a guy, more of a conflicted muddle than a viable counter-culture hero. He doesn't want to end up like his parents, but he happily drives around in the Alfa Romeo they give him as a graduation present. He even ends up running off with the very girl they picked for him in the first place. But while it's easy for contemporary viewers to regard the film's message as compromised, The Graduate was something new and provocative for late '60s audiences, a slyly wrapped package of antiestablishment sentiment. Benjamin Braddock's very imperfections made him a believable vehicle for youthful malaise in the first place; to a generation disillusioned with the prosperity in which they had been raised by indulgent parents, Benjamin's brand of resentful ennui resonated on a visceral level. In painting a portrait of an imperfect youth rejecting an equally imperfect world, Mike Nichols and Buck Henry offered only satirical possibilities instead of self-affirming answers. Instead of driving off into the sunset in his Alfa, Benjamin and his beloved board a dirty city bus, hesitant to look either at each other or at the future they have chosen.

Product Details

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[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Nichols in conversation with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh Audio commentary from 1987 featuring film scholar Howard Suber New interview with actor Dustin Hoffman New conversarion between producer Lawrence Turman and screenwriter Buck Henry New interview with film writer and historian Bobbie O'Steen about editor Sam O'Steen's work on The Graduate Students of "The Graduate," a short documentary from 2007 on the film's influence "The Graduate" at 25, a 1992 featurette on the making of the film Interview with Nichols by Barbara Walters, from a 1966 episode of NBC's Today show Excerpt from a 1970 appearance by singer-songwriter Paul Simon on The Dick Cavett Show Screen tests Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dustin Hoffman Benjamin Braddock
Anne Bancroft Mrs. Robinson
Katharine Ross Elaine Robinson
William Daniels Mr. Braddock
Elizabeth Wilson Mrs. Braddock
Murray Hamilton Mr. Robinson
Brian Avery Carl Smith
Walter Brooke Mr. Maguire
Norman Fell Mr. McLeeiry
Alice Ghostley Mrs. Singleman
Elisabeth Fraser Second Lady
Marion Lorne Miss DeWitt
Buck Henry Hotel Clerk
Mike Farrell Actor
Jonathan Hole Mr. DeWitt
Richard Dreyfuss Hotel resident (uncredited)
Eddra Gale Woman on Bus
Harry Holcombe Minister
John Neilson Actor

Technical Credits
Mike Nichols Director
Dave Grusin Score Composer
Milt Hamerman Casting
Buck Henry Screenwriter
Harry Maret Makeup
George R. Nelson Set Decoration/Design
Sam O'Steen Editor
Paul Simon Songwriter
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Richard Sylbert Production Designer
Lawrence Turman Producer
Calder Willingham Screenwriter
Patricia Zipprodt Costumes/Costume Designer


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The Graduate 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman from the 1960's is a very good classic its amazing how and older woman suduced a young man in the movie i like the scence where he's lying out by the pool and the end when he stops the wedding
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got one word-"Plastics." It typified the whole confusion of that generation and so did Dennis Hoffman's performance, ambivalent, uncertain, and idealistic at all the same time. With a taboo romance and some of the greatest songs ever put on track a la Simon and Garfunkel, the Graduate will definitely help you score a date with an older, sexy women or at least get her daughter to dump her current fiancee for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is so great in every level: cast, plot, mystery, drama, love, hate and so on. Both lead characters are simply crafted pefectly. This movie is an ultimate classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For his second film, Mike Nichols ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") directed a faithful and devastatingly funny adaptation of "The Graduate", Charles Webb's novel about a young man who loses his virginity to a family friend and his heart to her daughter. The film provides an unforgettable portrait of a boy caught in the full panic of self-discovery and dragged screaming into manhood. With a modest budget of three million dollars, "The Graduate" quickly became a huge box-office smash, grossing over $100 million worldwide and winning Mike Nichols an Academy Award as Best Director. But the film's success might well have had something to do with the way it blends its modern sheen with concealed traditional pleasures. Its pleasure and popularity were enhanced by the bitter-sweet songs of Simon and Garfunkel that accompany the narrative. The film, which might easily at any moment have degenerated into an enjoyable but forgettable bedroom farce, is continually turned into a deft work of social satire, establishing Nichols as a cultural humorist in the tradition of Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder. Numerous bits of Americana are effectively integrated into the story: when Ben (Dustin Hoffman) visits Mrs. Robinson (brilliantly portrayed by Anne Bancroft) at her home, "The Dating Game" is blaring from the television set, adding a comic undercurrent to their relationship when Ben tries to stop Elaine's forced marriage, he finds it taking place in one of those modern churches that look more like an experimental art museum than a place of worship. There are numerous scenes that have become classics, including Ben's nervous routine when checking into a hotel with Mrs. Robinson for the first time, encountering an unperturbed desk clerk (Buck Henry), and Ben's early attempt to escape the banal small talk of his parents by submerging in their swimming pool with diving equipment, where he stares, in exasperation, directly into the camera. Understandably, Hoffman emerged as the most significant youth cult star since James Dean. With a deadpan expression and an uncertain voice, he offered an entirely new concept of how a star should act and look, just as the artistic techniques employed in "The Graduate" presented audiences with an alternative to the earlier ideas of how a Hollywood movie ought to be made. [filmfactsman]
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film came along at the perfect time, so much was going on ,we really needed a great movie that we could relate to and feel good about. I am looking forward to the 40th anniversary edition, it's gonna be a great collectors piece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has graduated from college and just wanted to live can relate to this film, with the exception of course of the seduction or perhaps not. If you like brilliant cinema, fantastic characters and a classic storyline get this movie. The cinematography and scripting are actually studied by film and acting students all over the world. As it is said "two thumbs up"!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone in the country needs to own this movie! It is sheer brilliance. Hoffman is amazing as Benjamin and Bancroft plays an excellent role as well. No movie tops it in my book. Great camera work. Fantastic music (Simon ang Garfunkel). Highly Highly recommended
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the movie that made Hoffman a superstar. But still some of my friends haven't heard of him. He has his share of oscars to prove that he is a great actor but i think more people should know who he is. He is underrated even after 30 years. Good movie, kept my interest from beginning to end.
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The blu-ray I received from B&N in February 2011 was stripped of special features which is why it's cheaper here than other websites.
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