Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is a high performing graduate student who is confused and feeling under pressure about his future. In his congratulatory party Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father's partner, asks him to take her home - where they begin an affair.
His parent's have no idea about the affair and when Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross) returns home he is coaxed into taking her out, much to the disgust of Mrs. Robinson. As he starts to fall in love with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson tries her utmost to keep them apart.
Since it's release in 1967, The Graduate has set about transforming modern culture with its stories of Mrs. Robinson. Films from the hilarious American Pie (Finch with Stifler’s Mum), to the less good Rumor Has It (where the whole storyline is based on the premise that The Graduate's events are real) have been directly influenced by The Graduate's promiscuous tale.
Bizarrely, even by today's 'dropped' standards, The Graduate's storyline is still shocking. The wife of a business associate takes the son (somewhat against his will) into her daughter's bedroom and strips off in order to seduce him, trampling on his innocence in the process. Thus the model student transforms into a chain smoking man, desperate for the attentions of an older woman. Hidden behind a thin layer of comedy though, and it becomes cinematic gold.
Dustin Hoffman is very funny in charge of the film and he was well cast as a twenty-nine-year-old because of his physical appearance of someone far younger. Putting a less experienced actor in would surely have seen them swamped, and Hoffman doesn't give off the impression of anything other than innocence in the opening scenes. As the film progresses, his chemistry with the alluring Katharine Ross struggles to match up to the disgruntled Anne Bancroft - but perhaps this is due to Mrs. Robinson's experience.
Ticking over in a less-than-subtle manner in the background are the Simon and Garfunkel hymns. After only writing one song (Mrs. Robinson) for the film despite the initial request for three, the duo still heavily contributed to the soundtrack including other favourites Scarborough Fair and Sound of Silence. The success of Mrs. Robinson became so great that it is almost unanimously famed in the industry for scenes containing attractive mothers - despite the fact it was only played as instrumental in its original form.
Delicious, humorous and even a little poignant. Yes Mrs. Robinson, I am trying to seduce you.