Graduate [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs]

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Synopsis

"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 offer of sex from icily feline Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). The affair and the pool are all well and good until Ben is pushed to go out with the Robinsons' daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) and he falls in love with her. Mrs. Robinson sabotages the relationship and an understandably disgusted Elaine runs back to college. Determined not to let Elaine get away, Ben follows her to school and then disrupts her family-sanctioned wedding. None too happy about her pre-determined destiny, Elaine flees with Ben -- but to what? Directing his second feature film after Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Nichols matched the story's satire of suffocating middle-class shallowness with an anti-Hollywood style influenced by the then-voguish French New Wave. Using odd angles, jittery editing, and evocative widescreen photography, Nichols welded a hip New Wave style and a generation-gap theme to a fairly traditional screwball comedy script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham from Charles Webb's novel. Adding to the European art film sensibility, the movie offers an unsettling and ambiguous ending with no firm closure. And rather than Robert Redford, Nichols opted for a less glamorous unknown for the pivotal role of Ben, turning Hoffman into a star and opening the door for unconventional leading men throughout the 1970s. With a pop-song score written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon & Garfunkel bolstering its contemporary appeal, The Graduate opened to rave reviews in December 1967 and surpassed all commercial expectations. It became the top-grossing film of 1968 and was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Actor, and Actress, with Nichols winning Best Director. Together with Bonnie and Clyde, it stands as one of the most influential films of the late '60s, as its mordant dissection of the generation gap helped lead the way to the youth-oriented Hollywood artistic "renaissance" of the early '70s. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
2/23/16 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
PG -- Parental guidance suggested
Length
1 hour, 46 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital w/ sub-woofer channel
  • Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Nichols in conversation with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh
  • Audio commentary from 1987 featuring film scholar Howard Suber
  • New interview with actor Dustin Horrman
  • New conversation between producer Lawrence Truman and screenwriter Buck Henry
  • New interview with film writer and historian Bobbie O'Steen about editor Sam O'Steen's work on The Graduate
  • Students of "The Graduate," a short documentary from 2007 on the film's influence
  • "The Graduate" at 25, a 1992 featurette on the making of the film
  • Interview with Nichols by Barbara Walters, from a 1966 episode of NBC's Today show
  • Excerpt form a 1970 appearance by singer-songwriter Paul Simon on The Dick Cavett Show
  • Screen tests
  • Trailer
Number of Discs
2

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