The Graduate: A Favorite Film

         I chose to write my second film summary on Mike Nichols' 1967 classic The Graduate. This film will always be remembered because of its sexual content. It is one of the only American films of the sixties decade to show anything close to the sexual content in foreign films of the time. The plot is hilarious and will never be used as effective again. There are many qualities that make this movie excellent, but the main two I will talk about are the directing and acting.

         Even though he had done a lot of television acting, this was Dustin Hoffman's first leading role in a feature film. It is funny to me that in the movie Hoffman is playing a twenty-year old, but at the time when he worked on this film he was really in his late twenties. I find Hoffman's character Benjamin Braddock hilarious because he has graduated from college, and yet he still seems as if he has no experience with women at all. Hoffman gives my favorite performance of the movie, but he does have an excellent supporting cast around him with Anna Bancroft and Katherine Ross. Ironically all three were nominated for academy awards, but none of them won.

         Unlike his actors, Mike Nichols did win the academy award for best director in 1967, and I think his award was well deserved. This was the Berlin born Nichols's first feature, but you would not know it from his shots. My favorite shot in the movie is the slow aerial fade of Hoffman setting on a stairway in front of Elaine's college. My favorite scene of the movie is when Hoffman first tells his parents of his plans to marry Elaine. The scene is written well, filmed even better, and completely brilliant by the end of it when the toast pops out of the toaster.

         Another great quality about the movie is the music in it. This movie made Simon and Garfunkel even more popular then they were, and I can't even think about this film without the song "Mrs. Robinson" popping into my head. This movie has it all including a happy ending, because in real life I do not believe Elaine would ever run off with Ben. This film is definitely a classic and will always remain as one of my favorite films of all time.

Chad Cooper

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