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Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson: 50 years after its release, the creators of ‘The Graduate’ discuss the films continued staying power and influence

Larry Mantle at FilmWeek's 'The Graduate' screening
Larry Mantle at FilmWeek's 'The Graduate' screening
Quincy Surasmith

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It’s hard to imagine anyone but Dustin Hoffman playing doe-eyed college graduate Benjamin Braddock in the comedy classic “The Graduate.”

But did you know that before Hoffman was ultimately chosen for the part, director Mike Nichols screen-tested Robert Redford for the role alongside Candice Bergen as Elaine? Or that there was talk of doing a sequel to the film that would center around Mrs. Robinson moving in with Ben and Elaine years after the end of “The Graduate”?

These were just a couple of the anecdotes shared last weekend after our latest FilmWeek screening, during which we showed Nichols’ 1967 classic in 4K on the big screen at Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

After the film, Larry Mantle and a panel of special guests, including the film’s producer Lawrence Turman and screenwriter Buck Henry, talked about the film’s enduring influence half a century after its release, explained the process of working with the late Mike Nichols to make their shared vision a reality on screen, and shared some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from the film’s production.


Beverly Gray, entertainment journalist, teacher at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program, and author of “Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation” (Algonquin Books, 2017)

Buck Henry, writer of “The Graduate”

Peter Rainer, film critic for KPCC and Christian Science Monitor

Lawrence Turman, producer of "The Graduate"