That’s right, The Graduate is turning 50. And to mark the occasion a new 4K restoration of the 1967 film will premiere April 8th at Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival.
What’s even more exciting is that later this month, April 23rd through the 26th, the restoration will expand to 700 theatres throughout the country for TCM and Fathom Events’ monthly TCM Big Screen Classics series.
Mike Nichols’ directorial masterstroke is the film that launched Dustin Hoffman’s formidable career. It was also groundbreaking in its infusion of Simon and Garfunkel’s music, which set the tone for the movie and mood for individual scenes.
So don your scuba gear, sit back, relax, crack open an ice-cold Olympia and prepare to be seduced. Here are 15 pieces of trivia that will make your repeated viewing affair with this coming-of-age classic that much more enjoyable…
Paul Simon had been working on a song referencing “Mrs. Roosevelt” as a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt. However, for inclusion on The Graduate’s soundtrack, he changed the words to “Mrs. Robinson,” creating a classic.
1. The tagline for the film that appeared on the poster was: “This is Benjamin. He’s a little worried about his future.”
2. The line “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” was voted the 63rd best movie quote of all time by the American Film Institute and ranked no. 5 on Premiere magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Movie Lines in 2007.
3. The film cost $3 million to produce and brought back in $105 million at the box office, or over $750 million when adjusted for inflation. It was easily the highest grossing movie of 1967 beating out Disney’s The Jungle Book by close to 31 million.
4. Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Robinson) is less than 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman and just 8 years older than Katharine Ross, who played her onscreen daughter Elaine.
5. Paul Simon had been working on a song referencing “Mrs. Roosevelt” as a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt. However, for inclusion on The Graduate’s soundtrack, he changed the words to “Mrs. Robinson,” creating a classic.
6. In his original review of the film, Roger Ebert called the songs by Simon & Garfunkel “instantly forgettable.”
7. The Graduate is the last film to win the Best Director Oscar without winning any other category (the movie received six other nominations).
8. The desk clerk at the Taft Hotel was played by screenwriter Buck Henry. Henry was nominated for two Academy Awards during his career. First for his script for The Graduate and later as the director of the 1979 Warren Beatty-starring film Heaven Can Wait.
9. Henry also had a cameo in Robert Altman’s 1992 Hollywood satire The Player. He pitches a sequel to The Graduate to a studio executive in which Ben and Elaine are married and Mrs. Robinson lives with them after suffering a stroke.
10. Many of the scenes of Benjamin in “Berkeley” pursuing Elaine were actually filmed on the University of Southern California’s campus.
11. The gorgeous red car Benjamin drives is a 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spyder. The two-seat convertible got 23 miles a gallon, could go 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds and stayed on the US market in various forms until 1994. There was even a Graduate edition.
12. Hoffman only made $17,000 for his work. He learned before his screen test that all the other actors who tested had agreed to a six-picture contract. Hoffman told his agent he would rather do it for free and not be obligated to appear in other films. As a result he got just $17,000. After taxes and living expenses, he had only about $4,000 left.
13. The cast was not shown any of the dailies during production. Because Dustin Hoffman had never been in a film before, the first time he ever saw himself on screen was at an early screening of the finished film.
14. Richard Dreyfuss made his film debut in The Graduate. His only line is: “Shall I get the cops? I’ll get the cops.”
15. During an appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio in 1994, director Mike Nichols said the ambiguous looks on Ben and Elaine’s faces on the bus after the climactic church sequence were due to the actors being uncomfortable after he shouted at them to laugh during the scene. He decided to keep the cameras rolling, and one of the most memorable endings in the history of film was born.