Appraising The Graduate: The Mike Nichols Classic and Its Impact in Hollywood
The popular success in 1967 of The Graduate was immediate and total; at the time, only Gone with the Wind and The Sound of Music were bigger box-office winners. Yet such phenomenal success came at a price: On the film’s 40th anniversary, director Mike Nichols claimed that The Graduate had been “whipped away” by a young audience hungry for countercultural documents. This study, the first monograph on The Graduate, explores how popular and subsequent critical reception deflected a full understanding of the film’s complex point of view, which satirizes everything in its path—especially Benjamin and Elaine, its young “heroes.” The text explores how the film offers not the happy ending some imagine, but a corrosive and satirical vision of humanity. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
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