The Graduate, 1967. Dustin Hoffman earned his first Academy Award nomination as Benjamin Braddock, an overachiever seduced by Mrs. Robinson, Anne Bancroft, to the tunes of Simon & Garfunkel. The movie launched Hoffman to stardom and became an anthem for millions of angst ridden twenty somethings adrift in a world built for another generation.
TheGraduate: “Just one word: plastic.” “Are you here for an affair?” These lines and others became cultural touchstones, as 1960s youth rebellion seeped into the California upper middle-class in Mike Nichols’ landmark hit. Mentally adrift the summer after graduating from college, suburbanite Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) would rather float in his parents’ pool than follow adult advice about his future.
Katharin Ross as Elaine Robinson, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, nominated Academy Award for Best Actress, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and nominated Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance, for this film alone.
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Dustin Hoffman in the set of The Graduate.
Simon & Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965, largely on the strength of the hit single “The Sound of Silence”. Their music was featured in the film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness.
Benjamin: For god’s sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You… put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh?
Benjamin: Aren’t you?
Benjamin Braddock riding his red Alfa Romeo Duetto.