The Graduate (1967)
Mrs. Robinson, if you don’t mind my saying so, this conversation is getting a little strange.
— Benjamin Braddock
I always wanted to see the #161 Movie of All-Time on IMDb, The Graduate for a long time now. I have never had the chance until now. It is one of those movies that everyone have already seen many times or at least known some of the famous lines from it. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and it only won for Nichols as Best Director. Strange.
Based on the novel by Charles Webb, the movie tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) who has come back to the west coast after graduating from college. Mr. and Mrs. Braddock (William Daniels and Elizabeth Wilson) throw him a welcome home party of the home. Ben is uncomfortable having all the attention on him. He isolates himself in his room.
The wife of his dad’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) bursts into his room thinking that it was the bathroom. Instead, she asks Ben to drive her home, because her husband (Murray Hamilton) took the car out. After Ben drops her off, she invites him in for a drink and proceeds to slowly seduce him.
Mr. Robinson comes back home to find them acting like nothing happened. Mr. Robinson senses Ben’s uneasiness and decides to give him advice about sowing his wild oats. He doesn’t know that his wife has offered herself to Benjamin any time he wants for a quick romp.
After Ben turns 21, he decides to proceed with the affair at a local hotel where he decides to reserve the room under the name, Mr. Gladstone. Their affair continues but it seems that Ben wants more than a physical relationship, but Mrs. Robinson doesn’t want to chit-chat.
Things becomes complicated when the Robinson’s daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross) comes to town and Ben’s parents are forcing him to go on a date with her.
I can see why Nichols won the Oscar for Best Director. The way that the movie is shot is a sight to behold. You have the camera placed in the closet, a camera rolling into darkness, people facing away from the camera delivering their dialogue. I really enjoyed the relationship with Ben and Mrs. Robinson. It’s not tawdry as I thought. It was realistic. Anne Bancroft was luminous on screen. I love the lilt in her voice.
There some things I didn’t enjoy about this movie. I was not thrilled about the relationship between Ben and Elaine. It didn’t seem organic to me. Ben also becomes stalkerish near the end that really disturbed me.
Judgment: A story about an affair that is not dated.
Posted on May 3, 2011, in 1967, Academy Award Winner, Best Director, Comedy, Drama, Romantic, Running Feature, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged Anne Bancroft, Benjamin Braddock, Charles Webb, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Wilson, Katharine Ross, Mike Nicols, Mrs. Robinson, Murray Hamilton, The Graduate, William Daniels. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.