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The Graduate (1967)

This is Benjamin. Hes a little worried about his future.

Directed by:

Mike Nichols

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 105 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

When still blinking, inexperienced, wet-behind-the-ears, virginal – however you might choose to describe it – what young man doesn’t quite fancy the idea of having a willing older woman arrive on the scene to show him the ropes? Certainly Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is up for it! After all, he’s a 20-year-old who voluntarily chooses to wear a jacket and tie everywhere he goes, and he’s also a jumpy, snivelling bag of nerves – so, when his parents’ pal Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) starts to show a bit of an interest, he’s got to think that all of his Christmases have come at once. I mean, let’s face it: the hotties aren’t exactly queuing up.

Still, you’ve got to hand it to our Benjie: he must have something going for him because, by the time this enjoyable Oscar-scooping classic has hurtled to its famous conclusion, he’s also managed to get his hands on a younger member of the Robinson family in the shape of daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). How does he do it, eh?

More than 30 years after its original release, ‘The Graduate’ remains a firm favourite among movie lovers everywhere. Though it goes a little flat in the middle and attempts a little bizarrely to make a hero figure out of a character who’s actually a bit of an arse, a memorably stern performance from Bancroft and hilarious comic reactions from Hoffman ensure this one will always maintain its popularity.

The film also remains surprisingly undated, predominantly, I suppose, because of Benjamin’s complete and utter oblivion to 60s society (dodgy haircut aside, he fits none of the drug-addled flower-loving free-shagging stereotypes we’ve come to associate with the teens and twenty-somethings of the era). Of course, having said all of that, there IS always the soundtrack, an inescapably nauseating Simon and Garfunkel celebration of all that is forever twee. Still, the music goes fantastically well with Benjamin’s dress-sense.

It's Got: Benjamin’s dad is K.I.T.T. from ‘Knight Rider’ (William Daniels), and the mayor from ‘Jaws’ (Murray Hamilton).

It Needs: To make sure as few of us as possible know that there’s actually an age gap of only six years between Hoffman and Bancroft. It kinda spoils the magic a little bit, doesn’t it?

DVD Extras A trailer, a 20-minute featurette on ‘The Graduate at 25’, a stills gallery, and an interesting little 5-minute interview in which Hoffers lets us in on his idea for a sequel (I’d personally like it to be titled ‘The Post-Graduate’ – arf!). Version reviewed: The Graduate (Momentum Pictures Home Ent) DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

American Beauty, Lolita, Rushmore, Tadpole

Summary

Put this much-loved silly 60s coming-of-ager into your DVD player and let it seduce you.

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