Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just graduated from college and has no idea what career he wants to pursue. To celebrate his graduation, his parents throw him a party in his honor. Among other people, the business-friendly couple Robinson is invited.
Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft ) asks Benjamin, who tries to escape from the party guests and prefers to think of the thoughtful silence and loneliness of driving her home. There she tries to seduce him, but is prevented by the sudden appearance of her husband. Driven by Benjamin’s curiosity and boredom and Mr. Robinson’s well intentioned advice to enjoy his youth and life, a sexual relationship soon develops between the two.
Background & information
The Graduate had a revolutionary effect in many respects. For the first time, the relationship of a married woman to a younger lover was portrayed in the public and without prejudice. The film underscores the Californian morality of the American establishment and the worldliness of the young generation.
For the first time in a film, pop music was used to transport the mood of a scene. Simon & Garfunkel‘s soundtrack (with The Sound Of Silence, Mrs. Robinson and Scarborough Fair) became one of their greatest successes for the duo.
The Graduate included the first professional product placement in the form of an Alfa Romeo, which made the film uncharted territory in its financing strategy. The series in question is still called Graduate Spider in the USA . To this extent, The Graduate was a reaction to the emerging social and moral upheaval and thus the harbinger of New Hollywood.
This was the first major role of Dustin Hoffman, who subsequently rose to a Hollywood star. He got the role because he was very unsure and nervous when he was auditioning, although he was already too old at that time. Over the past few years, The Graduate has made a comeback through successful theatrical performances in London, where Mrs. Robinson has been portrayed with great success by Jerry Hall .