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The Graduate: Special Edition

review by James S.

 

Rated PG

Running Time: 106 minutes

Starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross

Studio: MGM

Directed by Mike Nichols

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Behind-the Scenes Documentary, Interview with Dustin Hoffman, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: Widescreen, Dolby Digital Stereo Surround English, Spanish and French Captions, Chapter Search

This is the story of Ben (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate. Ben is uncertain of his future, and during his summer after graduation relaxes and finds himself. Where he finds himself is in the clutches of Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father's business partner. Ben begins an affair with the older woman. The clandestine affair is complicated when Elaine Robinson, Mrs. Robinson's daughter, comes home for summer vacation. Ben falls in love with the younger Robinson to the chagrin of the elder Robinson. The love triangle explodes and Ben tries to win back Elaine.

For a film over thirty years old, it has held up to the test of time. The print is spectacular. The clarity and color of the film are worth noting, but the best point is not the video transfer itself but the camera shots. The movie has some of the most ingenious camera work ever, near the level of a Hitchcock masterpiece. The excellent camera work is captured in widescreen (but not anamorphic unfortunately) format that has only minor film artifacts.

The sound in The Graduate is accented by the wonderful soundtrack. Dave Grusin and Paul Simon did the original score, with many of the songs performed by Simon and Garfunkel. The music and the voices are presented in clear Dolby Digital Stereo Surround.

It's interesting to view the original trailer for The Graduate. From the trailer you can get the entire story of the film in three short minutes. To get the story behind the story, the DVD is packaged with a documentary on the making of the film. You'll hear the insights of writer Buck Henry and who the producers wanted as the cast (and it wasn't Hoffman or Bancroft). As a bonus, an interview with Dustin Hoffman uncovers how he approached the film. With such a wonderful film, the only thing that is missing is an audio commentary track.

A landmark film that's been preserved on DVD, The Graduate is a fine addition to the movie lover's library. While the DVD lacks an anamorphic transfer, the quality of the film is excellent. The audio is loaded with classic songs from Simon and Garfunkel. The extra features are interesting in their own right and are icing on the cake.

(4.5/5, NOT included in final score)

(3.5/5)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(4/5, NOT an average)

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