Watched Mike Nichols's 1967 Film "The Graduate"

“It's like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don't make any sense to me. They're being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.”
  --Benjamin Braddock,
The Graduate

Continuing my journey on the AFI 100, we watched #17 on the list, The Graduate.  In Dustin Hoffman’s breakout role, he plays Benjamin Braddock, a soon to be 21 year old who just graduated from college.

Ben is at a crossroads in his life, and while he has both athletic and academic achievements, he is very unsure what to do with his future.  Because of this confusion, he is seduced by an older woman, the wife of his father’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson (played by Anne Bancroft).

Hoffman and Bancroft play off each other pretty well in this movie, and the twists and turns of their personalities really shine during their interactions.

Some of the scenes in this movie are hilarious.  Ben’s father makes him put on this scuba gear and get in the pool with it.  Later on, he uses it to escape badgering questions from them.

Benjamin’s life as an uncaring young adult without a purpose is shown by his pool lounging by day and his affair with Mrs. Robinson at night.

Katherine Ross plays Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s beautiful and innocent daughter.  Ben’s parents and Mr. Robinson want Ben to take her out, but Mrs. Robinson completely disapproves.

The end scene is very memorable.  So memorable in fact that it was spoofed nearly shot for shot in Wayne’s World 2.

I really enjoyed this film and was actually surprised at how funny it was.  Dustin Hoffman does a great job being totally awkward at times, and the rest of the cast is fantastic as well.  It also provides an interesting picture of the generation it was speaking to.  (“Plastics” is the future.) 

Overall, I’d totally recommend this movie.  It’s humorous, the characters are interesting, and the Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack is awesome.

Mrs. Robinson: Benjamin, I am not trying to seduce you.
Benjamin: I know that, but please, Mrs. Robinson, this is difficult...
Mrs. Robinson: Would you like me to seduce you?
Benjamin: What?
Mrs. Robinson: Is that what you're trying to tell me?

Related Items:
The Graduate on Netflix (streams in HD)
The Graduate on Blu-ray
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