Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Graduate

"You're trying to seduce me Mrs. Robinson."

I was channel surfing last night, switching between the Olympics' Opening Ceremonies and The Graduate.

I remember my Mom saying that Dustin Hoffman was homely, but I find him rather attractive.

The movie really is interesting as I haven't seen it in a very long time. It's such a period piece, released in 1967, yet still seems valid today. Some observations:

• Familiar actors of today in bit parts: Norman Fell (Mr. Roper from Three's Company), Alice Ghostly (Esmeralda from Bewitched), Marion Lorne (Aunt Clara from Bewitched), Richard Dreyfuss (from Jaws and Close Encounters), Buck Henry (from early Saturday Night Live who also co-wrote the movie).
• Dustin/Ben needs a dime so he can use a pay phone. How long has it been since there were pay phones?
• Norman Fell rents a room to Ben in a house in Berkeley and tells him he doesn't want any radicals. Hints of what was to come in the next couple of years in the SF Bay area.
• Makeup of the day consisted of heavy eyeliner and false eyelashes.
• Anne Bancroft/Mrs. Robinson wears thigh-high stockings. When were pantyhose introduced?
• Extras have the long hair, sideburns, and clothes of the day.
• Streetscapes with old fashioned store fronts, signage, cars, buses (and advertising), etc.
• A scene where they are watching television and The Newlywed Game is on with host Bob Eubanks.
• Lots of smoking and drinking on screen.
• Directed by Mike Nichols (Mr. Diane Sawyer).
• Classic soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel.

If Ben behaved today as he did then, we'd call it stalking and Elaine would have a restraining order against him. And, given his use of the cross to block the doors in the next to last scene, every Christian organization would have claimed blasphemy and organized a boycott!

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