Hollywood classic The Graduate celebrates its 50th anniversary in December. Despite this it hasn’t stopped people releasing golden anniversary boxsets in August.
It’s always difficult reviewing movies like this, partly because you already know you are watching a film that is so famous. One of the most famous moments in cinema occurs just 12 minutes in when naïve grad student Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is seduced by a friend of his parents, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft).
The film is described as a comedy drama, and even though the film was made so long ago you still get some laughs, from when Benjamin is forced to go into the family swimming pool in full diving gear in front of the neighbours, to the anti-climactic one-word advice he gets from one person about what to do with his future: “Plastics.”
However, the drama is more what comes out on top, as Benjamin struggles with his relationship with Mrs. Robinson and later falls in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross), ultimately ending up in the famous final church scene. One of the best elements of the film for me is the camerawork, for example when Benjamin is naked in a room is Mrs. Robinson for the first time, and the camera is mostly on Benjamin, but every so often it insert a quick frame showing Mrs. Robinson’s naked body, giving a quick shock to the viewer, and in a way giving us a bit of the sense of shock Benjamin is going through.
Not only do you have one of the most famous films, but also one of the most famous soundtracks, as provided by Simon and Garfunkel, with possibly their three most famous songs appearing in The Graduate: “Mrs. Robinson”, “The Sound of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair”. Combine all of this together and you have what is rightly considered to be one for the greatest films ever made.
This new collection, featuring Blu-Ray, DVDa and download versions, has plenty of extras. Many of these come from previous versions but there are some new features to like an interview with the film’s producer Lawrence Turman and a set of photos from Hollywood photographer Bob Willoughby. Other extras include interviews with Hoffman, as well as Charles Webb who wrote the novel on which the film is based, as well as three different audio commentaries, including one featuring director Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for the film.
The Graduate: 50th Anniversary Edition is out now from Studio Canal.