The Graduation of the Graduate

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History of Cinema

The Graduation of the Graduate: the film’s influence on American Cinema

For my research paper I would like to explore the motifs and key themes in the classic American film, The Graduate (1967). By investigating the adaptation of the novel by Charles Webb into a screenplay, the use of symbolism, soundtrack, metaphors and setting, I will determine the film’s role in American cinema history, and how its effects are still seen in film today. In 1963, Charles Webb published the novel that Hollywood producer Lawrence Turman had read about in The New York Times. Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought enough of the story to adapt it into a movie, which he considered to be 90% accurate to the book. The biggest motion picture of 1968, The Graduate was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and the American Film Institute ranked it at number seven in its list of the greatest films of the century. It features one of the most recognizable soundtracks in movie history, by one of pop music's best-loved duos, Simon and Garfunkel. Additionally the film has been credited with the assassination of the romantic comedy. As part of the Present at the Creation series, Don Lee tells the story of how some improbable ingredients were mixed together to make a movie that forever changed American cinema. The Graduate begins with Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman in his first film role, telling his father that he's worried about his future, that he wants it to be "different." But as the wish comes true, Benjamin discovers his life becomes much more complicated. After driving a female friend of the family, Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft home from his graduation party, Benjamin is seduced by her. Paired with songs by Simon and Garfunkel, Benjamin drifts through a summer romance with the older woman until he suddenly falls in love with, and decides to pursue, her daughter Elaine. Such a plot twist helped...
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