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‘Mrs. Robinson, this conversation is getting a little strange’: 50 years later and ‘The Graduate’ still beguiles

Dustin Hoffman in MGM's
Dustin Hoffman in MGM's "The Graduate."

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What began in 1967 as a small, abstract comedy, “The Graduate” has since become a cinematic classic securely positioned in the American film canon.

In addition to catapulting a relatively unknown Dustin Hoffman to fame, the dark horse movie also saw an extended theater release along with seven Academy Award nominations. Fifty years later, author Beverly Gray celebrates the archetypal indie comedy in her book “Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation.”

Gray’s book closely examines the film and the inescapable cultural context in which it was made. Late 60’s angst regarding sex, work and marriage all become personified in Benjamin Braddock’s bumbling attraction to Mrs. Robinson, and Gray dives into how this controversial relationship affected moviegoers and film critics alike. The book also reveals never-before-heard details about “The Graduate’s” production, from deciding who to cast to the accidental brilliance behind Mike Nichols’ final bus scene.

Larry sits down with author Beverly Gray to discuss their mutual love for the movie and the surprising facts she learned while writing a book about it.

American Jewish University’s Whizin Center for Continuing Education is having a screening of ‘The Graduate’ this Sunday, December 3rd at 3 p.m. followed by a Q&A session with Beverly Gray. Check seat availability and reserve your tickets here.


Beverly Gray, author, entertainment journalist and a teacher at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program, her latest book is “Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation