No. 8: The Graduate
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
1967, dir. Mike Nichols. It begins with new college graduate, Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman), on a jet airplane bound for Los Angeles, staring blankly into the middle distance. It ends with another ride into the unknown: Benjamin and the runaway bride, Elaine Robinson, on a rickety public bus, again gazing wordlessly forward. In between is one of the movies’ great coming-of-age stories—as funny, sexy, and poignant a comedy of manners as American cinema has ever produced. The screenplay, adapted by Buck Henry from Charles Webb’s novel, is taut and sharp-witted. Mike Nichols’ direction, a groundbreaking synthesis of nouvelle-vague artiness and classic Hollywood storytelling, set the template for decades of independent American cinema that has followed. Hoffman’s lead performance turned an alienated nebbish into a charismatic big screen hero, and rightly made him a star. Today the film stands as one of the great artifacts of 1960s counterculture: Nichols and Hoffman—and those two Jewish folksingers crooning all over the soundtrack—stand alongside Bob Dylan and Abbie Hoffman as Jewish prophets of generational unrest. Where are Benjamin and Elaine headed on that bus? Just around the bend, a turbulent new world, the late-1960s, is coming into view. Next stop: Summer of Love.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.