Comedy | Drama | Romance
Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, Buck Henry, Walter Brooke, Brian Avery, Norma Fell, Marion Lorne, Alice Ghostley, Eddra Gale
After successfully completing college, Ben (Dustin Hoffman) returns home where is soon seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). The two start an affair, but soon Ben falls in love with Elaine (Katharine Ross), Mrs. Robinson's daughter.
Who doesn't know Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson"? But was the song made popular by the film or was the film made popular by the song? I don't know, and frankly it doesn't even matter because both the song and the film are great.
That being said, "The Graduate" is a great film that should be watched by everyone, because even though it has lost his relevance today, it still is wonderful and defining film of a generation.
This film is such a classic I doubt there is someone who doesn't know the plot to the film. Anyway, it may appear simple at first sight - in a nutshell a young man has a relationship both with mother and daughter - but the film does go beyond that. It indeed does so much more, like highlighting, in a very beautiful way, the fragility of an American society heavily based on facade values.
At the time of the film's release, back in 1968, "The Graduate" was probably seen as a transgressive movie because it shamed the hypocritical and conformist society where basically everyone lived in, but today, like I said before, it has lost part of his relevance. Unfortuntately, that kind of society still exists nowadays, but there are MILFs and toy-boys at every corner, so it takes a lot more to scandalize - see Lars von Tier's "Nymphomaniac".
On the "technical" side, everything still works beautifully today. Mike Nichols direction is smooth and creates the right balance between drama and comedy. The soundtrack is on of the biggest accomplishments of the film - it is so good saying it's great it's offensive - and it wonderfully enhances Ben's moods throughout the film.
And Dustin Hoffman, man what a performance! In his first big role, he does a brilliant job with the complex character of Ben. And he also manages to be funny. Anne Bancroft is delightful as Mrs. Robinson and handles the whole seduction thing beautifully.