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 Posted:   Oct 11, 2007 - 3:03 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Yessireeeeee, 1967 brought forth twin cinematic bounties that've not only stood the tarnished test of triumphant time but, even more miraculously, seen their stature only increase (the other already has a thread of its bloody own).



There's SO much that's become justifiably iconic about this film, in particular that - since we're pressed for reflective tyme presently - we'll simply open the gauntlet for those able to offer their impressions more immediately ...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2008 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



[ Sorry for anyone who yawns over this one - "Bonnie" - or "The Graduate" -- also immaculately photographed and acted -- as they were both seminal films of the 1960s.

A favorite scene in this one is in the strip club where Benjamin is being a real shit on his "obligatory" date with Elaine. As one of the strippers begins rotating tassles over Elaine's head and Benjamin sees her dissolving into tears of confusion and hurt, the entire movie's structure shifts gears with a jolt as you instantly know he's going to fall in love with her and, thus, set-up a scenario worthy of a Greek tragedy.

IMO, both films retain their original power and remain entertaining films nothing made today can hope to touch.
]

Hooray for Ron Appreciative Department:

His right royal evaluation of this film over on The Other Seminal Sixties' Film thread inspires us to reopen this original orientation for those thus inclined to celebrate its cardinal virtues.



Lady Anne first and foremost ... wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2008 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

I'd have hated being a member of the Academy that year. The voting choices must have been agonizing between The Graduate, Bonnie & Clyde, In the Heat of the Night, etc. What a year for film.

 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2008 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

I've found that people who yawn over films such as these are in need of a good yawn themselves.

 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2008 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   Sarge   (Member)

This'll sound ridiculous, but note the use of water in the film - it's a very deliberately placed symbol, from the swimming pool all the way down to the fish tank.



 
 
 Posted:   Sep 3, 2008 - 5:09 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Absolutmundo!



Hawkeye Freemason!!!



... smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 4, 2008 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

This'll sound ridiculous, but note the use of water in the film - it's a very deliberately placed symbol, from the swimming pool all the way down to the fish tank.

That thing with the scuba suit ... not only is he 'drowning' in the 'family' but it's a sort of 'baptism'. He's going under to come up again. That's what happens when you're 21.

Tha same metaphor of the mundane swimming-pool as a baptismal font in a 'transformation' cycle is used very effectively in 'The Swimmer' where Burt sheds all his illusions one by one as he dives into each pool.

 
 Posted:   Sep 4, 2008 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   scorechaser   (Member)

Do you realize how much Dustin Hoffman looks like Tom Cruise in these pictures?

 
 Posted:   Sep 4, 2008 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I feel virtually the exact same way about this film now(I just re-watch, recently), as I did in 1967. Then as now, the one true triumph of this film, for me, is Anne Bancroft. And not just this film. Anyone who speaks of great actresses and doesn't include her, has zero credibility in my book.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 5, 2008 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Morlock1   (Member)

I think the film does not hold up as a great film. It is very good, but it's focus on rebellion is a bit simple minded for my taste. The last shot, though, is brilliant (even thuogh it is accidental), and without it, the movie would have almost no impact on me.

 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2013 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



The Graduate's use of "Scarborough Fair" was, for me anyway, the first time I saw/heard a pop song used to great effect in a film.

 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2013 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_2LRZB2AIQ

Yep, and that's got to be one of the best ever 'zoom out from a guy driving over the Bay Bridge' shots.

And I love that line, "No, it's completely baked" *toast!*

 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2013 - 7:53 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

While some of the attitudes and issues are still applicable today, this is very much a film of its time. I was 12 when it premiered and didn’t see it until it was broadcast on TV when in my teens, but as I recall it caused quite a stir at the time of its debut, yet resonated with the “hip” generation of its day in a way few other films had before. While the idea of an older, adulterous wife and younger lover wasn’t unknown in film, the way it was presented here was quite startling and frank, yet not without tenderness. Quite amusing that it is the guy who desires pillow talk. I thought Mike Nichols and Buck Henry (also stellar as the hotel desk clerk) really knocked it out of the park with direction and screenplay and perfectly captured the angst and attitudes of many youth of the day as well as the ennui and pragmatism of the adults.
I thought casting was just right. Who else but Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson even if she was younger than the film depicted. And who can imagine this movie without the tunes of Simon and Garfunkel. Truly synergy at its highest level in film.
Compared to so many of today’s in-your-face crude, crass and classless films, this one is probably boring and lame for young audiences due to its subtlety and understatement.
This one was really shorted at the Oscars.

 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2013 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

I feel virtually the exact same way about this film now(I just re-watch, recently), as I did in 1967. Then as now, the one true triumph of this film, for me, is Anne Bancroft. And not just this film. Anyone who speaks of great actresses and doesn't include her, has zero credibility in my book.

Agreed!
What was the deal with Mrs. Robinson anyway? Did she want to keep Ben for herself? Did she think he and Elaine would end up like she and Mr. Robinson did? Did she think Ben would hold Elaine back from a promising career or that he wasn't good enough for her? She had to know that Ben and Elaine would at some point meet and that sparks might possibly fly. So she seduces him then becomes indignant at his curiosity when Elaine becomes the topic?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 6:09 AM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

Mike Nickols on “The Graduate”: “I wanted to stop the Los Angelesization of America.” Ironic that he ended up making THE L.A. movie of the 60s. 46 years later, it’s still very entertaining as one of those “social commentary” period pieces pretending to want to say something derogatory about the materialist, rat-eat-rat world of the parents of baby boomers. That it ends up condemning their kids for being just as blankheadedly narcissistic is of course the bigger joke, though at the time of the movie’s release, few from the baby boom generation wanted to accept the “insight.” All the characters over twenty-five are stereotyped as cretins or boozers or maliciously both; they’re inserts from a catalog of disdain. Hoffman becomes so blurty and nerdish that you begin to understand too clearly why his Berkeley landlord hates him. He’s got his moments, though, most of them with Bancroft. As Mrs. Robinson, she’s never been such a trenchant viper, an upper-middle class glamour sourpuss, what with gold-blond streaks in her dark hair and the leopard print coat and slips. Okay for Ben to screw her, just don’t screw her daughter. (Simon and Garfunkel sing that Jesus loves her more than she’ll know but surely he’d want to run like hell from her as well.) We’re not suppose to have any sympathy for Mrs. Robinson, but it doesn’t take much to understand why it’s untenable to her for Benjamin to date her daughter Elaine. Doesn’t it make sense for Elaine to be likewise outraged that Benjamin’s been pumping away on Mommie? And why are her divorcing parents so apoplectic that they rush her into a marriage to one of those bleached Roehm Brown Shirters? The famous ending silently asks what is the boomers’ ultimate goofus mantra: “Now what?” Playing Benjamin’s mother, Elizabeth Wilson has just about the greatest, most penetrating scream ever heard in an American comedy.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 3:10 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Mike Nickols on “The Graduate”: “I wanted to stop the Los Angelesization of America.” Ironic that he ended up making THE L.A. movie of the 60s. 46 years later, it’s still very entertaining as one of those “social commentary” period pieces pretending to want to say something derogatory about the materialist, rat-eat-rat world of the parents of baby boomers. That it ends up condemning their kids for being just as blankheadedly narcissistic is of course the bigger joke, though at the time of the movie’s release, few from the baby boom generation wanted to accept the “insight.”

I'm quite sure I don't see this film through the same jaded eyes as yours. Their kids aren't blankheadedly narcissistic in "The Graduate" that I saw. Benjamin is in turmoil, yes. He's been in school all his life and doesn't know for sure what he wants to do and all he has is pressure from parents and their friends to select a career path. This goes on to this very day. Elaine is neither narcissistic nor blank, although she has a lot to deal with when she learns her boyfriend is schtupping her mother. Her parents are important and she's under their sway (control) in many ways, but she's also hurt...by Benjaming by her mother and by havint to contend with her father's sense of betrayal by his wife (and her liaison with the son of good friends). What is blankheadedly narcissistic in them? Every young person in this world lives in an orbit of self first and then everybody else. Same today as it was then. Not different. Yes, today's young have cell phones and iPods and gadgets we never dreamed of in the 1960s, but "living" is equally the same...seeing and being seen and caring about who you are being seen with. And most importantly, tuning out parents and their friends.

I think the film is a very honest and real look at life. It's the same today as it was then. It doesn't matter if it was the same for the parents of the baby boomers (both in the film and the audience). What matters is the gap that divides them.

All the characters over twenty-five are stereotyped as cretins or boozers or maliciously both; they’re inserts from a catalog of disdain. Hoffman becomes so blurty and nerdish that you begin to understand too clearly why his Berkeley landlord hates him.

All the characters over twenty-five were folks who found each other through work or social events in common. They are a clique and have their similarities. This type of clique exists even today. Yes, they were shallow and vain and in a specific "class" of people.

He’s got his moments, though, most of them with Bancroft. As Mrs. Robinson, she’s never been such a trenchant viper, an upper-middle class glamour sourpuss, what with gold-blond streaks in her dark hair and the leopard print coat and slips. Okay for Ben to screw her, just don’t screw her daughter. (Simon and Garfunkel sing that Jesus loves her more than she’ll know but surely he’d want to run like hell from her as well.) We’re not suppose to have any sympathy for Mrs. Robinson, but it doesn’t take much to understand why it’s untenable to her for Benjamin to date her daughter Elaine. Doesn’t it make sense for Elaine to be likewise outraged that Benjamin’s been pumping away on Mommie? And why are her divorcing parents so apoplectic that they rush her into a marriage to one of those bleached Roehm Brown Shirters? The famous ending silently asks what is the boomers’ ultimate goofus mantra: “Now what?” Playing Benjamin’s mother, Elizabeth Wilson has just about the greatest, most penetrating scream ever heard in an American comedy.

Benjamin emerges from his shell when Mrs. Robinson offers him something he's never had access to -- a mature woman, no romance and free sex with no strings.

That, of course, sets up all the problems encountered when the fathers set up the kids for a date. Mrs. R wants Benjamin to refuse. His parents desperately want him to come out of his shell (for all the encounters with Mrs. R, he's still the uncommunicative Ben with his parents). To get them off his back (a valid point Mrs. R isn't willing to concede), Ben takes Elaine out and treats her with indifference. He poses as a nihilistic nitwit. There is quite a bit of nihilism throughout the film. Suddenly, Benjamin begins to be a living breathing character...Elaine awakens him from his torpor -- he comes alive -- and we suddenly find two young interesting people communicating.

Why so confused by her father's reaction to the situation? Why confused over their insistence she marry a fellow she had known at school? They didn't want Benjamin in her life. Certainly her father saw Benjamin as a "seducer" of his wife and daughter. Mrs. R's part in all of it is never rewarded until the ending.

I can't get over the imagery you suggest...bleached Roehm Brown Shirters, was it? Just a blond-headed guy she didn't love but agreed to marry. No Third Reichian imagery there for me.

As for as the ending being a "boomer's ultimate goofus mantra", I assure you that the current generation is still asking "Now what" just as that one did.

I don't know what your deal is with baby boomers, but it begs the question as to what superior holier-than-thou generation you represent.

Could it possibly be the "Duh Generation"?

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I saw THE GRADUATE only once, but I remember being very annoyed, almost disgusted, because the filmmaker seemed unaware that the Dustin Hoffman character was a repugnant, ungrateful brat. He has been given everything on a silver platter-- and thinks he's getting a raw deal.

The film goes on as if the pampered, well-living Ben is (somehow) the victim of our (somehow) awful society, and all the grownups around him, who are providing so much for him, have something wrong with them. I hated it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



There are happy 'accidents' that occur when a gifted Kreative has enough disciplined foundation to stay open for what may occur that he hadn't planned for but which bequeaths a far more discerning Art-ifact of awareness than he could've possibly imagined.

Such is the fabled final scene of the not-young-marrieds on the bus; coming from his already undisputed mastery in Theatre, Mr. Nichols knew that Spontaneity - which is profoundly different than usually chaotic immature 'improvisation' - can be an ally so, by his own admission, that Final Scene was TOTALLY UNEXPECTED: he merely kept the camera running and, pesto: a seminal cinematic moment was born.

Very few of these boys-with-their-technological-toys and Rice Krispies infantile adolescent visual masturbations - 'geniuses' our Always in All Ways utterly underwhelmed ass - today would Ever know how to accomplish such.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Ah, cool Ron cool ... thy ever-insightful SOGS personal planet of perspective stature doth ne'er decline. wink

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I saw THE GRADUATE only once, but I remember being very annoyed, almost disgusted, because the filmmaker seemed unaware that the Dustin Hoffman character was a repugnant, ungrateful brat. He has been given everything on a silver platter-- and thinks he's getting a raw deal.

The film goes on as if the pampered, well-living Ben is (somehow) the victim of our (somehow) awful society, and all the grownups around him, who are providing so much for him, have something wrong with them. I hated it.


When your life is to become what someone else has planned for you and you don't want it, then it might not seem so great after all.

 
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