A complete sensation on its original release in 1967, The Graduate was a one-of-a-kind cinematic portrait of America which captured the mood of disaffected youth seething beneath the laid-back exterior of 1960s California. It earned Mike Nichols a Best Director Oscar, introduced the music of Simon & Garfunkel to a wider audience and featured one of the most famous seductions in movie history and a truly iconic final scene. The Graduate also introduced the world to a young actor named Dustin Hoffman, perfectly cast as the jaw-droppingly naïve Benjamin.
Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and is already lost in a sea of confusion as he wonders what to do with his life. He returns to his parents’ luxurious Beverly Hills home, where he idles away the summer floating in the pool and brooding in silence. He is rescued from the boredom when he is seduced into a clandestine affair with a middle-aged married friend of his parents, Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft). That liaison is soon complicated by Benjamin’s infatuation with her college-age daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).
Visually imaginative and impeccably acted, with a witty, endlessly quotable script by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry (based on the novel by Charles Webb), with a supporting cast that includes William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Walter Brooke and Elizabeth Wilson, The Graduate had the kind of cultural impact that comes along only once in a generation.