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The Graduate

The Graduate
Screenplay: Calder Willingham, Buck Henry,
Based on the Novel by Charles Web
Directed by Mike Nichols
Principle Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katherine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, Buck Henry.

There are many movies that people claim summarize a generation. Among these would be "Easy Rider", "Rebel Without a Cause", "Clockwork Orange", etc. My favorite among this type of film would be "The Graduate". In this movie we have a recent college graduate (Benjamin) who feels the pressure from his family and peers to decide what he will, "do with his future". The most that Benjamin can say in response to these questions is that, ".. I want it to be different". As he is "thinking" about his life, Benjamin allows himself to be seduced by his father's business partners wife, Ms. Robinson.Benjamin spends the next few months content to drift, not really giving any thought to his future until he is set up on a date with Ms. Robinson's Daughter, Elaine. From here the movie quickly moves to it's conclusion and Benjamin is shaken out of his malaise and is forced to act. He must act in a way that pits him against his past and cast him into an unknown future. In the end it seems that was what Benjamin was looking for in the first place.
The movie has a good script, and the direction is excellent. Nichols was criticized for not taking advantage of the full potential of having Simon and Garfunkle performing his soundtrack. The title song "Mrs. Robinson" and the "Sound of Silence" where used to good effect, but man of the songs seemed like filler. Dustin Hoffman was playing a student who was 21 or 22 years old when he was actually pushing thirty when he made this film. The film won an Oscar for best director and was nominated for six other awards.