The Graduate (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
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Few films have defined a generation as The Graduate did. The alienation, the nonconformity, the intergenerational romance, the blissful Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack--they all served to lob a cultural grenade smack into the middle of 1967 America, ultimately making the film the third most profitable up to that time. Seen from a later perspective, its radical chicness has dimmed a bit, yet it's still a joy to see Dustin Hoffman's bemused Benjamin and Anne Bancroft's deliciously decadent, sardonic Mrs. Robinson. The script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham is still offbeat and dryly funny, and Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for his direction, has just the right, light touch. --Anne Hurley --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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Also worth noting in particular is the direction of Mike Nichols. He truly gives the film a unique visual style to make it an experience rather than just a comedy/drama. Note the opening credits with Hoffman on an airport moving sidewalk set to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". Nichols' uses cuts very interestingly in several scenes such as the scene where Benjamin jumps up on his raft in the pool, and lands in bed with Mrs. Robinson. He also uses zooms to great effect throughout the film. Nichols' Best Director Oscar for this film was well-deserved. I think that Hoffman's performance should have won also, as well as the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry.
One other thing that I must mention is that The Graduate absolutely must been seen in its original aspect ratio! If you're not watching a widescreen version, then you're not watching The Graduate. The film was shot in the Panavision process with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Mike Nichols makes wonderful use of the 2.35:1 frame, so the film will be absolutely botched in pan and scan.Read more ›
European released BD presumably taken from a different master than MGM's US release Graduate [Blu-ray]  [US Import].
Colors seem more saturated and balanced in my view (see also blubeaver.ca for a comparison of both BDs)
PS: One thing that struck me as odd: Two over-shoulder-shots of Dustin Hoffman riding his Alfa Spider on the Bay Bridge headed for Berkeley (TC 01:36:58 - 37:22) and going down on 101 to Santa Barbara (01:38:37-58) were NOT anamorphic - TV image only looks ok when set to "4:3" - was it like this in theatres?! If so my guess would be that in 1966/67 when this was shot it simply wasn't practical to mount a (Mitchell?) Cinemascope rig to such tiny Italian convertible going at 70mph with the car top down... So maybe they shot this with a normal lens and "stretched" the image to fit widescreen presentation?
Anyone like to comment? Thanks!
Picture quality: 9/10
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (orig.)
Run time: 1 45'55", 24 fps
Audio: GB;F;D;E (dts HD MA)
Region free !
Bonus (all in SD):
-Graduate at 25; 22'21"
-THE GRADUATE - Looking back; 12'57"
-Meeting with author Charles Webb; 20'13"
-Scene analysis; 12'10" (German with Engl. ST)
-About the music; 7'55" (German with Engl. ST)
-Audio commentary by Prof. Koebner, Univ. of Mainz
-Song selection 4 songs, HD
Simon and Garfunkle provide the music in their inimitable style and the title song, Mrs Robinson, was a huge hit for them. Director Mike Nichols managed, in this film, to capture the feel and mood of the 60's flawlessly and he deservedly won an Oscar for his work. The DVD itself has few extras, a documentary by the director, interview with Hoffman, some trailers and the usual subtitles. The picture and sound quality are good, what you would expect from the format. This is a film that has stood the test of time and is still worth watching today.
It would help if Amazon would always post the *back* covers of DVDs as well as the front covers. Often there are several editions of a DVD, even by the same company, put out over the years, some with special features, and some without. In this case I could not tell, before ordering the DVD, whether it had any special features. However, the $6.99 price made it worth the gamble. It turned out that the only bonus on this edition was the trailer. But that's OK. One doesn't have to have a boatload of special features for every film one watches.
The video and sound on this DVD are good. It is in widescreen format, 106 minutes long.
I had never seen the film before, so it was like a sudden plunge back into the 1960s to hear the Simon and Garfunkel music. Of course I knew they had done the theme music, but actually hearing it with the film -- it was like a form of time travel.
The film is well-done, in terms of production and acting and script, and still works, as entertainment. Does it have any "deep" meaning, as I imagined it did when (as a kid too young to watch "adult" movies at the time) I heard about it in the 60s? Can we learn anything from the character Ben, played by Dustin Hoffman -- from his deep existential boredom (that great theme of the 50s-70s literature and film)? Probably not. Certainly I never knew anyone then, and haven't known anyone since, like Ben Braddock, so I'm not sure what universal human meaning his boredom is supposed to capture.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Interesting to see Dustin Hoffman in one of his first movies. Miss Robinson is hot!!
The movie was okay.
I saw this movie twice, and I have to say that its highly overrated. The only good thing about this movie is the Soundtrack.Published 8 months ago by Felicia
I hadn't watched this film in a while since getting my plasma large screen TV. I threw in my 2005 MGM DVD, was aghast and stopped it after 1 minute. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joker-scar
Excellent film. Still holds up. It's well written , funny well acted and the creative use of cinematography and transitions is still among the best in films. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Frog Feet
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