The Graduate (1967) Movie Review – No Spoilers!

The Graduate movie poster.

“The Graduate” image owned by Lawrence Turman Productions

“The Graduate” is a 1967 coming-of-age comedy-drama directed by Mike Nichols, starring Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate disillusioned and uncertain about his future. After returning to his wealthy parents’ California home, Benjamin is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father’s business partner, leading to a summer affair. The film explores themes of post-college disillusionment, generational conflict, and personal identity. It is renowned for its groundbreaking cinematography, Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack, and satirical take on 1960s middle-class values.

Oscars Nominations & Wins:

  • Best Director (Winner)
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Nominee)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Nominee)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Nominee)
  • Best Picture (Nominee)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Nominee)
  • Best Cinematography (Nominee)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Coming-of-Age, Romance

Is “The Graduate” Worth The Watch?

8/10 IMDb Rating.
90% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score.
4.1/5 Letterboxd Rating.

Click the ratings above to learn more about the movie on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Letterboxd.

My Rating For The Average Movie Viewer

Must Watch Films Movie Rating Worth Meter, Worth It

4/5 Worth It

My Rating for Someone Who Likes the Genre, Actor, Director, or Similar Movies

Must Watch Films Movie Rating Worth Meter, Must Watch

5/5 Must Watch

Who Is This Movie For? Who Will Enjoy It The Most?

“The Graduate” appeals to film enthusiasts and cinephiles for its classic status, Baby Boomers for its nostalgic 1960s setting, and college students and recent graduates for its themes of post-graduation uncertainty. Fans of satirical comedy enjoy its clever humor and social commentary, while music lovers appreciate its iconic Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack. Sociology and cultural studies students find it a valuable look into 1960s American culture and generational conflict, and aspiring filmmakers admire its innovative cinematography and direction. Fans of Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross value their performances, and those interested in counterculture and social change see it as a reflection of late 1960s rebellion.

My Quick Spoiler-Free Thoughts

“The Graduate” (1967) is a timeless classic that seamlessly blends comedy, drama, and coming-of-age elements. Is “The Graduate” worth watching? Absolutely. It’s a must-see for both casual viewers and genre enthusiasts, offering high rewatchability thanks to its stellar performances, masterful direction, and captivating cinematography. The film’s execution is flawless, starting with a seemingly simple premise that evolves into a deeply engaging narrative. Standout performances by Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, especially Bancroft’s commanding presence as Mrs. Robinson, elevate the film. Visually striking with a perfect soundtrack that enhances every scene, “The Graduate” excels in blending dark comedy with poignant themes of loneliness and societal pressures. It’s a cinematic gem that challenges conventions and resonates long after the credits roll.

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Mike Nichols (also known for “Closer,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “The Birdcage,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War”)
  • Writers: Calder Willingham (also known for “Paths of Glory” and “Little Big Man”), Buck Henry (also known for “What’s Up Doc?” and “Grumpy Old Men”), based on the novel by Charles Webb
  • Main Actors: Anne Bancroft (as Mrs. Robinson) (also known for “The Miracle Worker”), Dustin Hoffman (as Ben Braddock) (also known for “Tootsie,” “Rain Man,” “Kramer vs Kramer,” “Marathon Man” and “Midnight Cowboy”), Katharine Ross (as Elaine Robinson) (also known for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Donnie Darko”), William Daniels (as Mr. Braddock), Murray Hamilton (as Mr. Robinson), Elizabeth Wilson (as Mrs. Braddock)
  • Cinematography/Director of Photography: Robert Surtees (also known for “Ben-Hur,” “The Last Picture Show,” and “The Sting”)
  • Editor: Sam O’Steen (also known for “Chinatown” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”)
  • Casting: Lynn Stalmaster (also known for “First Blood” and “Superman”)
  • Production Design: Richard Sylbert (also known for “Chinatown,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and “The Manchurian Candidate”)
  • Set Decorator: George R. Nelson (also known for “Apocalypse Now,” “The Right Stuff,” and “The Getaway”)
  • Costume Design: Patricia Zipprodt (also known for “1776”)

Similar Movies

Midnight Cowboy, Hannah And Her Sisters, Paper Moon, The Apartment, Harold And Maude, Rushmore.

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