Friday, April 10, 2009

Dustin Hoffman - The Graduate (1967)

Film - The Graduate (1967)

Finally! That's all I can say. After a long, long time and many movie references to this particular film, I can say that my pop culture I.Q. has been boosted a little.

What's it all about?

If you were born in the late 1980s or later, you may have not even heard of this film. The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffman as Ben Braddock. Ben is a recent college graduate who comes home from school and is faced with the dilemma of what to do next. Ben also was the B-Moc (big man on campus), and has many accolades he must live up to, ultimately making his decision all that much harder to make and the pressure to succeed that much higher.

One night Braddock's parents (his father played by William Daniels... who you may remember as Mr. Feeny from the TV sitcom Boy Meets World) throw a big party in his honor, taking every chance they get to brag about him. Fed up with the attention, Ben hides in his room. Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) then mistakenly enters after, while "looking for the rest room." Shortly after she convinces Braddock to drive her home, where she later proposition's Ben at her residence.

Eventually, Ben gives in to the older cougar's advances, and a fling ensues. This whole exchange between Ben and Mrs. Robinson is often awkward when not in the physical act. Eventually their fling is cut short due to a visit from Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).

Ben is pressured into taking Elaine on a date and pursuing her. Reluctant at first, Ben eventually becomes smitten and finds a person he can confide his post college angst in. He falls for Elaine and starts to see more of her. She soon finds out about the affair and runs away from Ben. He spends the rest of the movie trying to win her back .

What I think

While some of this movie's legendary weight was probably lost on me, due to the fact of the generation gap, I still really liked it. This film is a cinematic pillar, and winner of many awards, including an Oscar. I found it largely entertaining, both as a stand alone film, but also as historical giant.

The soundtrack, which was very fitting for the time (possibly even edgy at the time), was not really for me. "The Sound of Silence," by Simon and Garfunkel must have played at least four times throughout the film. I do like this song, but heard it more than enough throughout the film.

The Graduate Film Details:

Major Cast Members: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, and Brian Avery.

Director: Mike Nichols

Release Year: 1967

Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy.

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