The Graduate (1967)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 45 mins

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After a successful stint away at an eastern college, twenty-one year old Benjamin Braddock returns to his parents' Los Angeles area home a graduate. Although the world should be his oyster, Ben is instead in a state of extreme anxiety as he has no idea what to do with his life, which is made all the more difficult since everybody asks him what he plans on doing or tells him what he should do. In his confused state during which he would rather be alone to wallow in self-pity, he is easy prey for the aggressive Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner who he's known all his life and who seduces him. Thinking about and then eventually succumbing to her advances only adds to his anxiety and confusion as he hides what they're doing from the rest of the world, and as he needs more than just sex in a relationship, sex which is all she wants from him. His confusion is lessened but his life becomes more complicated when he is reacquainted with Elaine Robinson, the Robinsons' daughter who too is home from college at Berkeley and who he has not seen since high school. Despite a rocky start directed largely by the wants of Mrs. Robinson, Ben and Elaine start to fall for each other. Will Ben find some clarity in his heart and mind and learn to fight for what he wants? How will Ben and Elaine's future unfold?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross

Crew: Mike Nichols (Director), Robert Surtees (Director of Photography), Robert David Grusin (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Release Dates: 22 Dec 1967 (India)

Tagline: This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future.

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Did you know? Other actresses considered for the part of Elaine were Natalie Wood (who turned it down) and Candice Bergen (who auditioned but did not get the part). Read More
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as Mrs. Robinson
as Ben Braddock
as Elaine Robinson
as Mrs. Singleman
as Carl Smith
as Room Clerk
as Woman on Bus
as Mrs. Braddock
as Miss DeWitte
as Mr. Robinson
as Mr. McCleery
as Mr. Braddock

Direction

Director

Production

Producer

Writers

Screenplay Writer
Novelist

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Music

Music Director

Art

Production Designer
Set Decorator

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer

Editorial

Editor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo, Mono
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Taglines:
This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future.
Goofs:
Continuity
When Mrs. Robinson gets Benjamin to come inside her home, she turns on the stereo after making a drink for Benjamin. They go upstairs then, and when Benjamin hears Mr. Robinson pulling up to the house and rushes downstairs, the music is no longer playing.

Continuity
When Ben is in the hotel bar waiting for Mrs. Robinson he takes a sip of his drink and the glass has ice in it, when he sets the glass down and there is a reflection of Mrs. Robinson on the glass table there is no ice in the glass.

Continuity
The Robinsons are always able to draw fresh ice from the ice bucket on their bar, even after they have been away at a party, presumably for several hours.

Continuity
In the first scene at the airport, Ben walks close towards the automatic door, past a pillar. In the next shot, he hasn't reached the pillar, and walks for a few second to reach where he was where the cut occurred.

Continuity
In the "What are you so scared of" scene towards the beginning, Mrs. Robinson has her shoulders slouching to the left. In the next shot, from the reverse, they are slouching to the right.

Continuity
During the "plastics" speech, we see a shot of Mr. McGuire and Ben from the middle of the living room. In the next shot, they are by the sliding door.

Continuity
When Ben tells his parents he is going to Berkley to see Elaine he is wearing a black collared shirt under a brown jacket. When he is sitting on the fountain at Berkley waiting for Elaine it switches to a white collared shirt, then back to black in the next scene when he is getting a room.

Continuity
When Ben and Elaine are at the drive-in on their first date, they are talking and there is a foot just behind Ben resting on what seems to be the edge of the car. The foot seems to belong to someone in the next car. The camera angle changes and the foot is gone.

Continuity
When Ben is outside Elaine's house watching the Robinsons pack the car, he puts his hand on the rear-view mirror. In the next shot, which is a close-up of the rear-view mirror, the hand is nowhere.

Errors in Geography
When Ben is seen crossing the Oakland Bay Bridge on his way to Berkeley he is driving on the upper of the two decks of the Bridge which only carries traffic westbound from Oakland to San Francisco and thus would be taking him away from Berkeley. The only way to get to Berkeley by way of the Bay Bridge is to drive Eastbound, and all such traffic is carried only on the lower deck of the Bridge.

Errors in Geography
On Benjamin's driving trips from Berkeley to LA, he goes through a tunnel. This tunnel, north of Santa Barbara, is actually a northbound tunnel. There is no southbound tunnel, contrary to the scenes in the movie.

Errors in Geography
As Benjamin exits Rt 101 in Santa Barbara for the church in the last scenes, the exit sign states "Santa Barbara - Vernon Ave". There is no Vernon Avenue in Santa Barbara. Nor is there an Allan Street, where the telephone operator tells Ben the church is located.

Revealing Mistakes
In the scene in which Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson meet at the hotel bar, Benjamin unsuccessfully attempts to draw the attention of a passing waiter. In the glass wall behind them, the waiter can be seen to stop as he leaves the frame and wait for his cue to re-enter.

Revealing Mistakes
When Benjamin and Elaine are in his Berkley room, at one point his face is full of shaving cream and he starts to shave. When he suddenly decides to stop shaving and wipes all of the shaving cream off with a towel, he has no stubble or growth on his face. He did not need to shave to begin with.

Revealing Mistakes
As Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson drive and run through the "rain" near the Robinson house, the lawns and shrubbery in the background are lit by bright sunshine.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Ben sabotages Elaine's wedding, Mrs. Robinson tells Elaine that it's "too late" to return to Ben. She replies, "Not for me!" Her voice sounds as if she's screaming the line, but her mouth moves as if she's only whispering it.
Trivia:
In Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft's first encounter in the hotel room, Bancroft did not know that Hoffman was going to grab her breast. Hoffman decided offscreen to do it, because it reminded him of schoolboys trying to nonchalantly grab girls' breasts in the hall by pretending to put their jackets on. When Hoffman did it onscreen, director Mike Nichols began laughing loudly offscreen. Hoffman began to laugh as well, so rather than stop the scene, he turned away from the camera and walked to the wall. Hoffman banged his head on the wall, trying to stop laughing, and Nichols thought it was so funny, he left it in.

When Dustin Hoffman showed up at Joseph E. Levine's office for a casting interview, the producer mistook him for a window cleaner, so Hoffman, in character, cleaned a window.

Two interesting camera techniques are used in the film. In the scene where Benjamin is running, he is shown at some distance running straight at the camera, an effect which makes him look as if he getting nowhere as he's running. (This technique is accomplished with a very long telephoto lens, which foreshortens distances in relation to the camera.) In another scene, Benjamin is walking from the right side of the screen to the left, while everyone else in the scene is moving from left to right. In western culture, things that move left to right seem natural (think of the direction you read words on a page), those that move right to left seem to be going the wrong way. These two visual techniques echo the themes of the film, Benjamin is going the wrong way, and getting nowhere in life.

Apparently, Dustin Hoffman's screen test consisted of him fumbling his lines and awkwardly trying to grab Katharine Ross's behind, which angered her. As he left thinking he didn't get the role, his awkwardness was just what director Mike Nichols needed for Benjamin Braddock.

None of the older characters has their first name identified in the film; only the younger characters of Benjamin, Elaine and Carl do, increasing the sense of a generation gap.

In the famous promotional still for this film, Dustin Hoffman is seen in the background framed by Mrs. Robinson's shapely leg. The leg in that photo didn't belong to Anne Bancroft, however; it belonged to a then-unknown model, Linda Gray, who later played Mrs. Robinson in a London stage musical of The Graduate.

Dustin Hoffman was already set to play a role in Mel Brooks The Producers (1967) when the opportunity to audition for "The Graduate" came up. Deferentially, Hoffman asked Brooks' permission to audition for the part in the other film. Through his wife, Anne Bancroft, (already cast) Brooks was familiar with the story of "The Graduate". He allowed Hoffman to audition, blithely confident he'd be found unsuitable for role of Mrs. Robinson's lover.

Although Mrs. Robinson is supposed to be much older than Benjamin, Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman are just under six years apart in age. He looked naturally boyish, and she was made up to look older. For the same reason, Bancroft was only 8 years older than her "daughter" Katharine Ross, William Daniels (Mr. Braddock) only 10 years older than his "son" Hoffman.

When Elaine tracks down Ben in his gloomy room and he causes her to scream, a number of other tenants gather behind the landlord in the doorway. One says, "Shall I get the cops? I'll get the cops..." It's Richard Dreyfuss.

Judy Garland was considered for the role of Mrs. Robinson.

Robert Redford screen-tested with Candice Bergen for the part of Benjamin Braddock but was finally rejected by director Mike Nichols because Nichols did not believe Redford could persuasively project the underdog qualities necessary to the role. When he told this to Redford, the actor asked Nichols what he meant. "Well, let's put it this way," said Nichols, "Have you ever struck out with a girl?" "What do you mean?" asked Redford. "That's precisely my point," said Nichols.

This movie marked the first time a director was paid a flat salary (not including points) of $1,000,000.00.

In the novel, Ben interrupted the wedding before Elaine said I do. However, Mike Nichols decided to have Ben arrive after Elaine had gotten married.

Ronald Reagan was considered for the role of Mr. Braddock.

Jack Nicholson was considered for the part of Benjamin Braddock.

Paul Simon wrote two songs for the film that director Mike Nichols rejected: "Punky's Dilemma" and "A Hazy Shade of Winter". Both appear on the Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends" album. The song "Mrs. Robinson" was not written for the movie; it was the working title of a song Simon was then writing (originally called "Mrs. Roosvelt", and about Eleanor Roosevelt) and Nichols decided to include it. Simon and Art Garfunkel only sing the chorus but none of the verses of the later hit song. Additionally, the chorus portion sung contains some lyrics not featured in the more popular "final" version of the song.

According to Dustin Hoffman at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduation 2003, his friend and former roommate Gene Hackman was cast as Mr. Robinson but was fired after a few weeks of work.

Within a year of the movie's release, plastic manufacturing companies became enormously successful. Many people attribute this to Walter Brooke's quote about "plastics". Brooke himself once told his nephew that he would have invested in plastics, if he had known that the remark would lead to such success.

The movie's line "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" was voted as the #63 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), as the #5 of Premiere's "100 Greatest Movie Lines" (2007).

Mike Nichols initially wanted French actress Jeanne Moreau to play Mrs. Robinson. The idea behind this was that in the French culture, the "older" women tended to "train" the younger men in sexual matters. The producers for the movie, Joseph E. Levine and Lawrence Turman, were completely opposed to the idea. Mike Nichols was even more set on having Simon and Garfunkel do the integrated soundtrack for the film. Nichols agreed to switch actresses for Mrs. Robinson as long as he could still use Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Sources vary on precisely what the truth is about the possibility of Doris Day playing Mrs. Robinson. One rumor says the property was acquired with her in mind as Mrs. Robinson, and producer Lawrence Turman sent the novel to her manager/husband, Martin Melcher, wanting to know their opinion of Day in the role, but Melcher was so disgusted by the thought that he refused to even mention it to her. Doris Day wrote in her 1975 memoir, which is probably more accurate, that she was actually offered the role, but "I could not see myself rolling around in the sheets with a young man half my age whom I'd seduced".

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #17 Greatest Movie of All Time.

Patty Duke was offered the part of Elaine Robinson, but turned it down because she did not want to work at the time.

Sally Field tested for the role of Elaine.

Other actresses considered for the part of Elaine were Natalie Wood (who turned it down) and Candice Bergen (who auditioned but did not get the part).

Mike Nichols realized one reason why he had so much difficulty casting for Benjamin Braddock when he read the Mad Magazine parody of his film. One of the jokes was Benjamin asking his parents why he was Jewish and they were not, and Nichols, who is Jewish himself, realized that his film had an subconsciously autobiographical element about being an ethnic outsider in a privileged WASPish society.

According to Susan Hayward's biographers, Mike Nichols originally wanted her for the role of Mrs Robinson but she declined because she wanted to avoid modifying her screen image. After Doris Day and Patricia Neal also turned it down Nichols eventually offered it to Anne Bancroft.

Charles Grodin was asked to audition as Benjamin, but was never screen tested. Mike Nichols still offered him a part in Catch-22 (1970), which he was already scheduled to direct.

The movie is full of womb imagery. From Benjamin's constant desire to stay immersed in his parent's swimming pool, to the slow close-up shot of the hips of Katherine's roommate as she brings the "Dear John" letter to Benjamin, to returning to the actual womb of the elder and maternal Mrs. Robinson.

The red, Italian sports car which Benjamin drives throughout the movie is a 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 also known as the Duetto.

Some of the scenes of Benjamin in "Berkeley" were actually filmed at the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and USC (University of Southern California).

Mike Farrell's movie debut.

Although Calder Willingham and Buck Henry share screen writing credit, Buck Henry wrote the shooting version of the screenplay without assistance, and Henry was not even aware of Willingham's draft. Henry was the fourth screenwriter asked to try to adapt Charles Webb's novel, however, and Willingham filed a challenge with the Writer's Guild for screen credit after the movie was completed. Because Webb's novel consists of large passages of dialogue, and both writers lifted various lines that appeared in each version, Willingham's challenge was successful.

Burt Ward had to turn down the role of Benjamin Braddock due to his commitment to Batman (1966) and the studio (20th Century Fox) wouldn't lend him.

Geraldine Page, Deborah Kerr, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Shelley Winters, Eva Marie Saint and Ingrid Bergman were considered for the role of Mrs. Robinson.

Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft were the not quickly chosen for the leads of this film. Warren Beatty was originally going to be the lead, but after he did not get the role, Robert Redford was selected. Patricia Neal was considered, but reportedly declined because she was uneasy about playing a lead role so soon after having a stroke.

At the AFI tribute to Mike Nichols, Dustin Hoffman recounted that when he was first called to discuss auditioning for the role of Benjamin, he told Nichols that he thought he was being made fun of a little, considering how "wrong" he seemed for the character described in the source novel. "'It [the book] says he's five-foot-eleven or something, and he's a track star, and he's head of the debating club, and he's from Boston or something, he's a WASP, and I... it feels like this is a dirty trick, sir.' And in his inimitable way, he says, 'You mean, you're Jewish'. And I said, 'Yes'. 'And that's why you don't think you're right.' I said, 'Yes'. And he said, 'Well maybe he's Jewish inside'. And I then got the part, after a screen test."

Ann-Margret, Jane Fonda, Tuesday Weld, Carroll Baker, Sue Lyon, Lee Remick, Suzanne Pleshette, Carol Lynley, Elizabeth Ashley, Yvette Mimieux, Pamela Tiffin and Hayley Mills were considered for the role of Elaine Robinson.

On Inside the Actors Studio (1994), director Mike Nichols claims that the final "sobering" emotion that Benjamin and Elaine go through was due to the fact that he had just been shouting at the two of them to laugh in the scene. The actors were so scared that after laughing they stopped, scared. Nichols liked it so much, he kept it.

When Benjamin is shown banging on the church window with his arms raised and extended, many reviewers felt he was portrayed as a Christ-like image. In actuality, this was a compromise with the minister of the church. The minister had threatened to throw everyone out when the scene was rehearsed with Benjamin pounding his fists on the fragile window, which had been a gift to the church.