sábado, 4 de septiembre de 2010

The Graduate

The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols.[1] It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The screenplay was by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, who makes a cameo appearance as a hotel clerk. The film tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman), a recent university graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and then proceeds to fall in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).

In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It ranked as the seventh greatest film of all time on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies.

Adjusted for inflation, the film is #19 on the list of highest-grossing films in the United States and Canada.

Embassy Pictures distributed in North America, while United Artists handled the initial international release.

Plot summary

The soon-to-be 21 year-old Benjamin Braddock flies back to his parents' house in Pasadena, California for his graduation party. At the party, all his parents' friends want to know about what he is going to do next, something Benjamin is clearly uncomfortable and anxious about. His parents ignore this and are only interested in talking up his academic and track successes and their plans for him to go to grad school.

Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner (they are law partners), asks him for a ride home from the party. She invites the nervous Benjamin in and attempts to seduce him, removing her clothing. Mr. Robinson arrives home but does not see or suspect anything. A few days later Benjamin contacts her and clumsily organizes a tryst at a hotel beginning their affair. A now confident and relaxed Benjamin spends the summer drifting around in the pool by day and seeing Mrs. Robinson at the hotel by night. Benjamin discovers that they have nothing to talk about but he does learn that Mrs. Robinson was forced to give up college and marry someone she didn't love when she became pregnant with Elaine.

Mr. Robinson tells Benjamin he should relax and enjoy himself while he is young. Benjamin's parents however are keen for him to get on with his life. Both they and Mr. Robinson keep trying to set Benjamin up with Elaine, while Mrs. Robinson makes it clear that she wants him to stay away from Elaine. Benjamin eventually gives into the pressure from his parents and takes Elaine out but is intentionally mean to her. After making her cry, he relents and explains he was mean only because his parents forced him to ask her out. He awkwardly kisses her to try and cheer her up and they go and get a burger at a drive-in. He then proceeds to take her home where she offers to take him in for a cup of coffee and he states that he wouldn't want to wake anybody up. Benjamin says he would like to get a drink and Elaine proclaims that they have a bar at the Taft Hotel. When they arrive at the Taft Hotel Benjamin is uneasy as everyone recognizes him as Mr. Gladstone. Benjamin discovers that Elaine is someone he is comfortable with and that he can talk to her about his worries.

Mrs. Robinson threatens to reveal their affair to destroy any chance Benjamin has with Elaine so Benjamin rashly decides he has to tell Elaine first. An upset Elaine returns to UC Berkeley, refusing to speak with Benjamin. Benjamin decides he is going to marry Elaine and goes to Berkeley and stalks her. He contrives a meeting on a bus while she is on her way to a date with her classmate Carl. An angry Elaine later demands to know what he is doing in Berkeley after he raped her mother by taking advantage of her while she was drunk. Benjamin tells her it was her mother who seduced him, something Elaine doesn't want to hear, so Benjamin says he will go somewhere else. Elaine tells Benjamin not to leave until he has a definite plan. The next day, Elaine comes into Ben's apartment in the middle of the night and asks him to kiss her. The two hang out in Berkeley while Benjamin keeps pressing her to get blood tests so that they can get married. Elaine is unsure about this and says she had told Carl she might marry him.

Mr. Robinson, who has found out everything about Benjamin and his wife's affair, goes to Ben's apartment in Berkeley where he berates him for his adulterous role in the affair, in which Mr. Robinson is in the stages of divorce. Mr. Robinson then threatens to have him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law should Benjamin ever come near Elaine or even think of her again. He also forces her to drop out of school and takes her away to marry Carl. Benjamin is left with just a note from Elaine saying that she loves him but that her father is really angry and it can never work out. Benjamin races back to Pasadena looking for Elaine but finds Mrs. Robinson instead. She tells him he won't be able stop the wedding and calls the police. Benjamin heads back to Berkeley and finds out from Carl's Delta Chi Fraternity brothers that the wedding is in Santa Barbara. He then speeds off towards Santa Barbara, stopping only at a gas station for directions to the church. Benjamin is in such a hurry that he rushes off without refueling.

Consequently, Ben runs out of gas and must sprint the last few blocks. He arrives at the church just as the bride and groom are about to kiss. Thinking he is too late he bangs on the glass at the back of the church and screams out "Elaine!" repeatedly. Elaine turns around, hesitates by looking at her parents and her would-be husband, but then screams out "Ben!" and starts towards him. A brawl breaks out as everyone tries to stop her and Benjamin leaving. Elaine manages to break free from her mother, who claims "It's too late!", to which Elaine replies, "Not for me!" Benjamin holds everybody off by swinging a cross ripped from the wall, then using it to jam the outside door while the pair escape. They run down the road and flag down a bus. The elated and smiling couple take the back seat. But Benjamin's smile gradually fades to an enigmatic, neutral expression as he gazes forward down the bus, not looking at Elaine. Elaine seems unsure, looks lovingly across at Ben but notices his expression and turns away with a similar expression as the bus drives away.


The Graduate Original Soundtrack album cover.
See also: The Graduate (soundtrack)

The film boosted the profile of folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, whose soundtrack album The Graduate, on the strength of the hit single "Mrs. Robinson", rose to the top of the charts in 1968 (knocking off The Beatles' White Album). However, the version that appears in the film is markedly different from the hit single version, which would not be issued until Simon and Garfunkel's next album, Bookends. The actual film version of "Mrs. Robinson" does appear on The Graduate soundtrack LP.

According to a Variety article by Peter Bart in the 15 May 2005 issue, Nichols had become obsessed with Simon & Garfunkel's music while shooting the film. Lawrence Turman, his producer, made a deal for Simon to write three new songs for the movie. By the time they were nearly finished editing the film, Simon had only written one new song. Nichols begged him for more but Simon, who was touring constantly, told him he didn't have the time. He did play him a few notes of a new song he had been working on; "It's not for the movie... it's a song about times past — about Mrs. Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio and stuff." Nichols advised Simon, "It's now about Mrs. Robinson, not Mrs. Roosevelt.

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