THE GRADUATE (1967) C widescreen 105m dir: Mike Nichols

w/Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, Brian Avery, Walter Brooke, Norman Fell, Elisabeth Fraser

In his first major role, Hoffman is both hilarious and deeply moving as a young college graduate who returns to his parents' affluent California swimming-pool world, which he despises, and tries to find his own values, all the while juggling affairs with both older woman Bancroft and her daughter Ross.

From The Movie Guide: "A social force of cinema that influenced the generation gap, THE GRADUATE was a tour de force for newcomer Hoffman and made him an overnight sensation. ...

"This comedy is wonderfully crafted by director Nichols who presents a half-dozen hilarious scenes, including Hoffman escaping badgering advice by submerging himself in the family pool in scuba gear and Bancroft's sudden shift from respectable matron to predatory tease, hiking her skirts lasciviously and purring promises of smoldering sex which almost put Hoffman into a comatose state. ...

"The film was an enormous hit, turning Nichols, who'd already scored heavily with WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, into one of Hollywood's most important directors. However much of the credit for the innovative and fluid graphics in the film must go to cameraman [Robert] Surtees, who was allowed a free hand to experiment widely. For example, the telescopic shot of Hoffman running to prevent the wedding causes him to appear not to be getting anywhere, almost as if he is running in place. All in all, THE GRADUATE is a flawlessly acted and produced film. Look fast for Richard Dreyfuss in his film debut as a college student."

Nichols won the Oscar for Best Director, and the film was also nominated for Best Picture, Actor (Hoffman), Actress (Bancroft), Supporting Actress (Ross), Adapted Screenplay (Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, based on the novel by Charles Webb), and Cinematography (Surtees).