The Graduate,” a 1967 gem directed by Mike Nichols, was an immediate American classic. The film is a quirky treasure with a very unique aesthetic and message that sets it apart from other 60’s movies; it doesn’t have that characteristic stagnant, overly-dramatized feeling common in some movies of the same era — it is dynamic and engaging, closely reminiscent of more modern directing styles. Besides a slew of awards and numerous nominations it earned — Mike Nichols won Best Director in the 1968 Oscars with nominations for Best Actor in a lead role, Dustin Hoffman; Best Actress in a lead role, Anne Bancroft; Best Supporting Actress, Katharine Ross; Best Writing; and Best Picture — the movie has remained an iconic film depicting the life and love of the Graduate, played by the then promising new talent, Dustin Hoffman.

 

This American favorite film revolves around one of the most epic love triangles of all time. Leading man, Hoffman, does an amazing job bringing to life the role of the successful, if not slightly awkward, slightly disappointed, extremely confused, recent college grad facing an existential crisis post-graduation. Leading lady, Bancroft, plays the iconic role of the middle-aged woman and long-time friend of the family, who takes advantage of the condition facing 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) to satisfy her own needs. The two of them face a delicate situation when the affair is taken to the next level and their two families continue to mingle as always, unaware of their dangerous secret, and is only made more complicated when her daughter of the same age comes into the picture.

 

The film is unforgettable not only because of outstanding performances from an exceptional cast, Hoffman and Bancroft in particular, but because of the amazing direction on the part of Nichols, as well as an amazing screenplay from Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, and possibly the most memorable and fitting soundtrack of all time, courtesy of Simon & Garfunkel. The unique static yet fragmented movement of the film was novel at the time and gave way to a modern, idiosyncratic style of direction.

 

Overall, the movie has a strong voice among 60’s film as well as the history of American film that conveys a powerful message about love and life.

 

What are your thoughts on this classic 60’s film? Leave a response in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda