In 1967 a “dramedy” from Mike Nichols/Lawrence Turman Productions and United Artists, starring a then-young Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, became a smashing critical and box office success. After all, the awkward tale of a fresh university graduate being seduced into near uselessness by an older and married woman was simply nothing that has been shown on the silver screen at the time. The mature lady seducer became such a hit in the film that her name, Mrs. Robinson, became a nickname for that character archetype since then, made even more popular by the featured song (entitled after her) sung by Simon and Garfunkel. It was a hit then, and now 50 years after its premiere “The Graduate” will be having a limited engagement re-release in theaters across the US.
According to Entertainment Weekly, to commemorate its golden anniversary the film “The Graduate”, the rights of which now belong to the French media company Studiocanal, will be presented in cooperation with Rialto Pictures and Fathom Events across over 700 cinemas in the country on two dates, Sunday on the 23rd and Wednesday on the 26th of April. The movie has been digitally restored for its 50th anniversary release and the run to be shown in the theaters will have a special commentary produced by the studios from Ben Mankiewicz, host of Turner Classic Movies.
The film, which was based on a novel of the same name written by Charles Webb, chronicled the misadventures of Williams College grad Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) in 1960s America, who returns to a high-pressure environment at his Pasadena hometown, weighed under the expectations of his parents, Braddock finds himself entangled in a whack-out love affair with Mrs. Robinson (Bancroft), the stunningly sexy but ignored an unloved wife of Braddock’s law partner. Completely dominated by Mrs. Robinson’s forceful personality and raw sexuality, Braddock forgoes getting a job and lives the life of an idle wastrel, doing nothing but going on trysts with his older lover, who seems interested only in physical intimacy. A chance encounter with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross), presents to young Braddock one slim chance of getting his life back under control, but does he want to?
“The Graduate” earned seven Academy Award nominations and established Dustin Hoffman as a star performer over the succeeding decades. It was so popular that eventually it was included in the US National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”. Now that’s something else.
As Simon and Garfunkel put it, “Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!”
Photo courtesy of Yahoo