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The Graduate (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on June 17, 2009

A few thoughts while watching this for the umpteenth time.  First, I wondered what I would think if it was my first time.  I’ve been so stingy with the 9’s and 10’s lately, would I be just as harsh with this?  Would I think it was funny, would I criticize it for playing “Scarborough Fair” 5 times in a row?  But it’s impossible to put yourself in those shoes… I suppose that ONE of the things I love about it is its familiarity, but certainly that’s not the only thing.  Next, it’s nice to have a 60’s counterculture film without any filthy longhairs, tie-dye, paisley, flower power, “make love not war”, pot smoking or any other hippie trappings.  Maybe a few months too early for all that, but it’s still refreshing.  And lastly, a word about the cast.  Obviously you have the three principals, and those memorable small roles like Norman Fell, Buck Henry and the “plastics” guy.  But I want to give props to William Daniels, Elizabeth Wilson, and Murray Hamilton (Mr. & Mrs. Braddock and Mr. Robinson).  Three wonderfully comic performances that illustrate the life Benjamin is wary of, without descending too far into buffoonery.  Rating: 10


4 Responses to “The Graduate (rewatch)”

  1. I actually had the chance to see The Graduate for the first time ever last year, and I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. My problem was that I didn’t think Benjamin’s motivations came through clear enough, and part of that was that I didn’t buy the Benjamin/Elaine relationship. I thought it was okay, maybe even pretty good, but I didn’t consider it great.

    • His motivation is a complete lack of direction. He doesn’t have the slightest idea what to do with himself so he latches on to whatever comes his way. He sleeps with Mrs. Robinson because it’s more appealing than doing nothing. He falls in love with Elaine because it’s more appealing than sleeping with Mrs. Robinson.

  2. […] 86. The Graduate (1967, Mike Nichols) […]

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