The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition Mike Nichols

The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition Mike Nichols

A genuine turning point in popular cinema, The Graduate is lovingly celebrated by its cast and crew, as well as film lovers and makers touched by its brilliance. By now, the story of young, depressed college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) seduced by his affluent parents’ associate, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), only to fall in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) is legendary. The number of iconic moments in The Graduate — from Hoffman’s panicky "Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” to his pounding on the church glass at Elaine’s wedding and then whisking her away on a city bus — are truly astounding. What’s sometimes lost in the hub of captivating performances and memorable scenes is the role of director Mike Nichols, whose vision for staging and composition (both culled from his theatre background) made for one of the liveliest and artfully crafted movies of the 20th century. The framing alone (between objects and body parts) and long, one-take shots of action (both leaving and approaching the audience) are stunning. It’s no wonder that one of two commentary tracks finds Steven Soderbergh essentially interviewing Nichols about his process. In "Students of The Graduate,” directors David O. Russell, Harold Ramis, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, critic David Ansen and, for some reason, Henry Rollins gush about how significant The Graduate remains, both for filmmakers and audiences that can relate to the malaise and alienation suffered by these infamous characters. Plus: audio commentary with Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, featurettes, Simon & Garfunkel sampler and trailers. (MGM)