The Graduate (1967)
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In The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman plays a listless college graduate whose very listlessness becomes the motivation for making mistakes, most prominently having an affair with an older woman (that's non-scandalous casting, he and Anne Bancroft only have a 6-year age difference) and then with her daughter. A less wealthy character might not have been able to afford any of this, but the film certainly remains relevant in our age of stay-at-home twentysomethings, and besides, Mike Nichols' direction is so slick, so peculiar, so ARRESTING, that it makes the movie seem entirely modern. I mean, I've seen well over 2000 thousand films in my life, and his direction still had a powerful revelatory effect on me. You know, like you might have felt the first time you saw a Tarantino picture and the camera was doing all sorts of things it shouldn't have been doing. Like that. Makes sense. This is a story about breaking rules. The director ought to break a few himself.
Seeing this for the second time, later (much later) in life, the character of Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) stands out, as the most moving and deeply realised character of them all. The comedy (=marriage) belongs to the next generation, while the tragedy (=death, loneliness, sterility) is almost entirely hers alone. Politically-incorrect, I know, especially if you're young; when you're older, and a "graduate" so to speak, not so much.
If you take care to listen to the script, and to note the artistic skill and significance in the composition of nearly every frame, there is a great deal more than a Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack in this top movie.
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In 28 official lists
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This movie ranks #9 in AFI's 100 years...100 laughs
This movie ranks #17 in AFI's 100 years...100 movies
This movie ranks #22 in All Time Box Office
This movie ranks #23 in BAFTA - Best Film
This movie ranks #28 in Independent
This movie ranks #47 in Golden Globe Best Picture Winners
This movie ranks #49 in 1960s
This movie ranks #52 in AFI's 100 years...100 passions
This movie ranks #59 in Taschen 100 All-time favorite movies
This movie ranks #62 in Empire 500
This movie ranks #65 in TimeOut's 100 Best Romantic Movies
This movie ranks #79 in 100 Must-See Films Of The 20th Century
This movie ranks #120 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #122 in 501 Must See Movies
This movie ranks #125 in Film Comedy
This movie ranks #156 in Reddit top 250
This movie ranks #190 in FOK! top 250
This movie ranks #200 in National Film Registry
This movie ranks #215 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #260 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #287 in The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #352 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #368 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #382 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #392 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #460 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #677 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
This movie ranks #938 in The Criterion Collection