Media Meltdown Podcast

The Graduate (1967)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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I now blame my father for not having a business partner with a wife who was available for nights my new moniker, Mr. Gladstone.

by: Roy MacMillan

Available at no cost on Amazon Prime

You would think Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) had it all - a newly-minted bachelor's degree, a long list of individual accomplishments at school, the prestigious Helpingham award, graduate school, and a new Alfa-Romeo convertible. However Benjamin is screaming inside. Riding the assembly line of family expectations for almost 21 years, he encounters something to take him off track. Mrs. Robinson (the lovely Anne Bancroft), wife of Benjamin's father's business partner, asks for a ride home from his graduation party. Benjamin is afraid he is being taken advantage of, and he is guilted into doing everything Mrs. Robinson asks. His suspicions are correct. Mrs. Robinson offers her services as his fling, and his life starts going off the path his parents carefully set for him.

Benjamin begins to see he is ill-equipped to handle being off course. Renting a hotel room is almost as much of a disaster as relating to his new lover. As his new lifestyle begins to allow him to feel comfortable, it is suggested that he date the Robinson's daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). Of course, this infuriates Mrs. Robinson, and she forbids him to see her. Benjamin returns to his usual awkwardness and messes this situation up as well. Will Benjamin's actions continue to cause problems for his planned-out life, or will things settle and return to normal?

This film speaks to me like very few. This movie is very funny to me, and Dustin Hoffman played the pent-up Braddock brilliantly. I love the way the camera captures Benjamin's isolation and aloneness. The shot of him jumping on the raft is legendary to me. Nichols' shot of a close-up argument between Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson to reveal in a pull-back that they are in opposite corners was genius as well. Nichols earned his Best Director Oscar, and this film should have won a half-dozen more. The movie also had classic Simon and Garfunkel songs written for it. If you have never seen The Graduate, this is a film that should be on your bucket list.

4 ½ stars

Posted at 9:00 AM by Media Meltdown Podcast
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