The Graduate


Age isn’t an issue for Hoffman and Bancroft...

With its folk-montage soundtrack, vintage taboos Hollyoaks wouldn’t spend more than a subplot on, and Dustin hoffman as a sex symbol, surely The Graduate has become something of an antique curio now we have Wes Anderson to do our wistful, offbeat comedies?

For such a counterculture landmark, it looks remarkably preppy and buttoned-down in comparison to its Easier Riding contemporaries. But it’s also far more enduring and, in its own quiet way, revolutionary.

And very funny, too – Hoffman’s exquisitely slapstick turn as hapless youth Ben Braddock the perfect accompaniment to Anne Bancroft’s icy cougar, the legendary Mrs Robinson.

Few films nail the fecklessness of youth, and the selfishness of adulthood, with such elegant simplicity and charm. Its cool, classy nouvelle vague stylings frame far more than just the Baby Boomer angst and cross-generational hanky-panky at its surface.

A cautionary fable worthy of Chaucer, The Graduate hits the bittersweet notes of its ambiguous conclusion with aching precision. This Blu-ray brings out a noticeable grain in some sequences, but for the most part it’s a sharp, colourful transfer.

Generous extras, too, though several have been released before. An in-depth analysis of the seduction sequence is a nice detail, but it’s a little dry for a film that paints its challenging themes with such a light touch.

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