Iconic Images: The Graduate (1967)

Mike Nichols, who sadly passed away yesterday, was responsible for a number of Hollywood’s greatest films across a career spanning more than four decades. Here we celebrate The Graduate’s iconic shot…

Mike Nichols' iconic shot of Anne Bancroft's leg in front of Dustin Hoffman

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    Mark Reply

    I rewatched this the other week and was surprised that this image wasn’t during the initial seduction – it was when Mrs Robinson warned Ben to stay away from her daughter.

    Actually it was a scene I didn’t really understand insofar as why Ben took umbrage at being told that he couldn’t take Ms Robinson on a date.

    I mean he was screwing the girl’s mother for goodness sake – couldn’t he put this two and two together!

    Well, it was the 1960s, I guess.

    The other thing I realised was a good portion of the last third of the film is taken up with Ben zooming in his car between LA and San Francisco. Got a little tedious after a while.

    Plus, was it me, or did Ben really look like he was starting to have second thoughts when they were sitting on the bus at the end?

    For what it’s worth I thought Catch 22 was Nichol’s best work; The Day of the Dolphin was probably his worst.

    RIP Mr Nichols and thanks for the memories.

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    Dan Reply

    Ah…but isn’t that sequence with Ben driving around complemented by Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson (with the fade in, fade out through the tunnel) – love this! Is it a little indulgent or a bit of fun with some great Californian views and rock n roll (or both).

    I think Benjamin is just so damn naive. He either doesn’t know how odd it is to be sleeping with the mother and the daughter or he doesn’t care in his exploration of this “new” sexually liberated self. I think there is ambiguity at the end (thrown in there quite knowingly by Nichols) and there’s every chance that within a week this loved-up pair will be separated.

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