Title: The Graduate
Director: Mike Nichols
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Duration: 105 minutes
Released: 13th September (Blu-ray)
Dustin Hoffman is Ben Braddock a young scholar who has just graduated. He is very talented but is unsure what to do with his life next. Anne Bancroft is Mrs. Robinson the wife of his father’s business partner. Ben finds himself unwittingly becoming involved with Mrs. Robinson in an affair. Ben wastes his time hanging out by the pool, driving his fast red sports car and seeing Mrs. Robinson at a hotel in the evening for sex, while his father complains that he should be going to graduate school. Then Katharine Ross turns up as Elaine Robinson, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter and Ben immediately falls in love with her. Ben is caught in a love triangle with mother and daughter and neither of them is happy when they find out that Ben has been seeing them both.
Director Nike Nichols does a fine job, but with actors of the calibre of Hoffman and Bancroft he must have felt that he had very little to do, so professional is this pairing. Hoffman and Bancroft produce tremendous performances and for the few scenes in which she appears Katherine Ross is also strong.
In 1967 The Graduate must have been quite shocking for audiences, yet fast forward to 2004 and see the difference between The Graduate and Closer – both directed by Mike Nichols to see the difference just over 35 years makes. The Graduate features an affair between a young man and a middle aged woman, virtually no nudity and very little profanity whilst Closer contains the dreaded ‘c’ word, some nudity and a host of torrid affairs. Strangely enough both are deemed to be a 15 certificate in the UK. But the comparison of the two films is fascinating.
The Graduate has clearly never looked better than on Blu-ray. The image is clear and crisp, only a few small imperfections remain. A classic film such as this was certainly deserving of a restoration job and transfer to blu-ray and it’s had a good job done on it to bring it up to scratch. The Graduate might look and feel a little slow by today’s standards but on the whole it stands the test of time and remains a true classic of modern cinema.