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"Just one word: plastic." "Are you here for an affair?" These lines and others became cultural touchstones, as 1960s youth rebellion seeped into the California upper middle-class in Mike Nichols' landmark hit. Mentally adrift the summer after graduating from college, suburbanite Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) would rather float in his parents' pool than follow adult advice about his future. But the exhortation of family friend Mr. Robinson (Murray Hamilton) to seize every possible opportunity inspires Ben to accept an ...

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May 24, 2010

Here's To You, Ben Braddock

TITLE: The Graduate
GENRE: Romantic comedy
CAST: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Catherine Ross
PLOT: Twixt goals in life, a young man learns of lust from an older family friend (an aunt figure) then hopelessly falls in love with her daughter who he hasn't seen since childhood. The husband learns of both situations and forces mattersto eclude any further contact with the graduate. Love triumphs.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT.9 of 10; A decade ago, this may have scored higher with me. It is still and will always be our introduction to Dustin Hoffman. The music is Simon and Garfunkel at their best. The character development of the lead is superb but the other characters tend to grate in identity (although from Bancroft as an alcoholic it may be expected). The staging of the shots are memorable, especially two: Mrs Robinson putting on her stockings and Ben banging on the Church glass screaming "Elaine" at her wedding.
DVD BONUS: The version I have had no bonus material. There is said to be a 40th anniversary version out there with interviews which I hope to someday experience.
ADDED NOTES: Ben was what today we would call a "stalker" of the daughter. In today's world he would have been incarcerated by the father and not have been able to interupt the wedding from a psych ward. I must comment that the subject of love does sometimes include such odd behavior, nature of the beast.

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