Saturday, January 23, 2010

#31 The Graduate: I think you're the most attractive of all my parents' friends.

1967. dir. Mike Nichols, starring Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross.

Seen it before? No.

Back to 1967 again, for another one from the Everybody Besides Me Has Seen It Files. Dustin Hoffman plays Ben Braddock, and adrift recent college graduate who begins an ill-advised affair with his parent's friend Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and then an even more ill-advised affair with her daughter (Katharine Ross). Of course, you knew that; this movie has become cliche to the point that "Mrs. Robinson" has become a cultural shorthand for an older woman with a younger man. I think this is another one of those "you had to be there" sort of things, where the impact of this film had been dulled by passage of time an being ripped off by too many inferior films.

Dustin Hoffman is pretty good in his breakout role. Surprisingly, this is the only one of his movies in the Top 250. I would have expected to see Tootsie or Rain Man or Midnight Cowboy but I guess not. We'll be seeing Katharine Ross two more times, in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and Donnie Darko. Anne Bancroft turns it half of a good performance - in the first half her character has a great combination of melancholy and sultriness. Then, unfortunately, she turns into a Mommie Dearest cartoon by the end.

The real star here is the music of Simon and Garfunkel. Much like the last movie we saw, the soundtrack is dominated by one artist. I suppose it's a defensible choice, but how many montages of Ben moping to the sounds of "Scarborough Fair" did we really need to see?

Position on the list: 156
They were going to remake this with: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. urge to kill.... rising...

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