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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.66%
Average: 4.82%
Pretty Bad: 2.41%
Total Crap: 6.02%

2 reviews, 71 user ratings

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Graduate, The
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by Paulapalooza

"It's a movie that speaks not just to its own generation, but to EVERY gener"
5 stars

Few movies about the plight of the young have any sort of lasting, immortal cohesion. Check THE BREAKFAST CLUB, for instance. Good movie, doesn't hold up so well over time. THE GRADUATE, however, cannot be lauded enough, and though it's steeped so heavily in Sixties counterculturalism that it's a signpost for the whole movement itself, it still manages to be warm, funny, disconcerting, and ultimately, not so sure that the answers it presents are really answers at all.

Dustin Hoffman had his big breakthrough with this film, as did director Mike Nichols. From the outset, we're shown recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock's isolation from his family and the world around him, particularly in the opening shot of Benjamin on an airport moving sidewalk, framed expressionless against featureless concrete and being dragged toward…something. He not only won't make a decision about his future despite prodding from friends and relatives, he CAN'T. He's paralyzed from the soul up.

Ben finds a welcome, desperate, and near-joyless relief in the bed of Mrs. Robinson, his neighbor and the wife of his father's business partner. Their trysts are more confrontation than connubial, though Ben has no other answers, no other avenues, and he plummets headlong into an adulterous cycle…until Elaine Robinson, Mrs. Robinson's daughter, returns home from school herself. What then happens shatters Ben's suburban, comfortable dream world and forces him into action.

It can be argued that Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katherine Ross have never been better on screen before or since. They act as weights and counterweights in what is effectively both a conflict between generations and between good (which isn't always so good) and evil (which is not always truly evil). There are also some humorous supporting turns from screenwriter Buck Henry and Mr. Roper himself, Norman Fell, stretching his range as a landlord for a Berkeley apartment building. After all, this IS ostensibly a comedy, and a very funny one. It also shows the power of this story's execution that an audience can so identify with Benjamin, a character who behaves as a silly boob (even a nasty boob on his first date with Elaine) throughout most of the film.

This is just one of those films where everything's in synchronicity and everything works, where the camera is plugged into a higher power making the film transcend the vast majority of celluloid product. It's as if the film taps into the energy of the Sixties and Berkeley, California and post-adolescent angst and imparts that onto the viewer. Although many might consider this to be a film about protest, it's really about the difficulties of growing up and maintaining any sort of idealism in a plasticene, compromising culture, and how we're fated to fall into that quagmire no matter how good our intentions may be.

As a side note, THE GRADUATE also set a watermark in using pop songs in a soundtrack with Simon & Garfunkel's excellent original tunes, and although they genuinely convey mood and character here, songs later became vehicles to sell a soundtrack and not much else. How ironic that a film reacting in its way against faceless corporate lowest-common-denominatorism would spawn bastardized practices that would juice those companies for decades hence, huh?

Finally, that ending scene---it's arguably the best ending scene in film history, and it's certainly my personal favorite. Benjamin and Elaine on the bus---running from their parents and their responsibilities in a burst of vigor and energy, and where most films would have cut on their smiles and rolled the credits---Nichols chooses to linger----and see the doubts and the ramifications of their actions play across Benjamin and Elaine's faces. We can make decisions, and they may even be the RIGHT ones, but there's always a piper to pay. And even though we run from society, sooner or later we still have to live in it.

Heady stuff for a comedy. But it's still genius.

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originally posted: 04/26/00 09:16:08
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User Comments

9/18/17 Anne Selby does not stand the test of time - lack of character development 2 stars
10/11/13 Fire With Fire "Stranger In a WASP Land" by Steve Sailer shows the Anti-White,Jewish Racism message of it 1 stars
9/23/12 oiltip One of my favorites. Good on so many levels. 5 stars
6/28/12 Jamie Yes, this movie is simply one of the best ever. Pure magic on a number of levels. 5 stars
8/15/11 Quigley One of the most overrated films of all time. Pure ludicrous. 2 stars
2/18/11 art DUstin Hofman's best movie!,A TRUE CLASSIC! 5 stars
7/29/10 Jeff Wilder Well-made and acted sure. But more dated than other films of that era. 3 stars
2/03/10 Dr.Lao Not quite as shocking as when it was first released, but still entertaining 4 stars
6/07/09 veela I just saw this tonight for the first time, amazing! Thought-provoking. 5 stars
4/19/09 R.W. Welch If you go to movies for a good time, this has to be near the top of your list. 5 stars
3/11/09 Jimmy Sweeeeeeeeet! Love seein back in time. A LOL film, no joke. 5 stars
1/25/09 Joan BEST movie ever! 5 stars
9/12/08 martin 0 stars if I could- I give it the crap stamp- I'd elaborate more, but this text box is tiny 1 stars
4/25/08 Zim awesome movie 5 stars
11/03/07 neeka the movie was really good eventhough i was not what i expected 4 stars
10/25/07 dietrichangel It was one of the worst movie I ever seen 1 stars
10/05/07 John Great,but it's Bancroft,not Hoffman who made this a classic. 5 stars
4/11/07 sandy B. Good movie & I love Simon & Garfunkel 5 stars
1/19/07 MP Bartley The brilliance of the opening 45 minutes isn't matched by the rest, but Hoffman is sublime. 4 stars
12/28/06 Agent Sands One of the milestones of the '60s, the greatest decade of cinema, & its influence lingers. 5 stars
12/26/06 nicolas terrific 5 stars
10/30/06 daniel if you dont like this movie, your probably just not intelligent enough to appriceate it... 5 stars
1/28/06 Jim Stockwell No - this movie is a WASTE OF TIME completely terrible and the story is incomplete 1 stars
1/07/06 read this jim stockwell its only hard to follow if your dumbass is retarded. its so easy to follow moron 4 stars
12/27/05 Jim Stockwell Don't waste your time - Story is hard to follow and makes NO sense whatsoever 1 stars
11/27/05 Ozgur Ekinci It's unforgetable! 5 stars
5/15/05 gdffg ghghgh nice 4 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan Great movie, definitelly worth watching 5 stars
1/14/05 green gremlin One the ten best movies of the 60's 5 stars
10/25/04 UMER one of the best movie sound-tracks you will ever get to listen to 5 stars
10/05/04 Roseann A yound Dustin Hoffman is perfect for the role as is the music of the times by Simon & Garf 5 stars
9/05/04 DM Simon & Garfunkel kick ass. Oh, and the movie's good too. 5 stars
7/10/04 jim hodgell intense and very enjoyable 5 stars
5/15/04 Gary nothing special but well acted 3 stars
5/02/04 Kevin This is a must see. People who normaly don't agree, all say they love this movie 5 stars
3/25/04 john charming, romantic and funny and of course the famous theme song! 5 stars
3/08/04 Krystal this was... well it made me laugh 4 stars
12/20/03 Pigdaddy Truckdriver Those dropout kids got the right attitude education don't feed my gut. 5 stars
12/19/03 Butterfly Good movie, but needs some death 5 stars
12/06/03 paul fernandez a classic an mtv movie. great camera shots, fine performances of bancroft and hoffman. 5 stars
5/23/03 Ryan F. Too good! Makes me wonder how people make shit like Scary Movie when the bar is this high. 4 stars
1/19/03 Hi there My favorite Dustin Hoffman picture. 5 stars
1/02/03 John Aster Habig a movie for any insecure youth with doubts of their future 5 stars
12/17/02 rotten s. milk Hoffman's Best? Nichols' Best? The 60's Best? Probably all three. 5 stars
11/26/02 moviemachine Hoffman's Best? Nichols' Best? The 1960's Best? Probably all three. 5 stars
11/14/02 Jay Dustin Hoffman's Best Movie!!! 5 stars
10/17/02 Charles Tatum Still works today, Hoffman was the original slacker 5 stars
10/07/02 TheOthersFan Never thought I'd like "Mrs. Robinson" and "Scarborough Fair" as much as I do now. 4 stars
7/20/02 sdjfsdkjf shaky start but loved it. Classic 60s and Hoffman rocks. Good music too. 5 stars
7/08/02 JAMES WRIGHT never seen it 5 stars
2/17/02 The Man One of top 5 of the '60s if not the best 5 stars
11/29/01 Amy Hoffman rises, but the movie still sinks. 4 stars
10/24/01 bobbuttons awesome 5 stars
8/31/01 spaceworm so where's that sequel? 5 stars
8/14/01 Henry Ginsberg What a great story.One of Hoffman's finest roles.The soundtrack is also great. 5 stars
4/05/01 Andrew Carden An extremly well done movie. Great cast, script, visually well done. 5 stars
3/28/01 Kevin Morales Great film, even now in the year 2k1 4 stars
11/27/00 Alex A movie that spoke to a generation, and still can. 5 stars
11/15/00 salvo toscano my favourite actor, one of my favourite movies 5 stars
10/15/00 Trina Hunter a sex comedy 3 stars
10/30/99 Bozo Great, but mostly for Bancroft, the sexiest woman in any movie ever 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan A total fucking classic. Also Hoffmans 2nd best role (after midnight cowboy). 5 stars
5/26/99 GothamDK Seen this movie with high expectations, but it lived up. Ross is a fox in this movie! 4 stars
3/04/99 Rachel Definitely a must see. 5 stars
3/04/99 The Graduate My favorite movie. The climactic scene in the church is classic. 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred I love this movie. I never get sick of it. It should be left alone. 5 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob Perhaps bit dated, this is still one hell of a good film! 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball NO RERELEASES! SCAM! 3 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} The film that kicked Hoffman off as one of the greats. Must see. 5 stars
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  14-Feb-1998 (R)
  DVD: 05-Apr-2005



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