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The Graduate (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
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Few films have defined a generation as The Graduate did. The alienation, the nonconformity, the intergenerational romance, the blissful Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack--they all served to lob a cultural grenade smack into the middle of 1967 America, ultimately making the film the third most profitable up to that time. Seen from a later perspective, its radical chicness has dimmed a bit, yet it's still a joy to see Dustin Hoffman's bemused Benjamin and Anne Bancroft's deliciously decadent, sardonic Mrs. Robinson. The script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham is still offbeat and dryly funny, and Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for his direction, has just the right, light touch. --Anne Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
Also worth noting in particular is the direction of Mike Nichols. He truly gives the film a unique visual style to make it an experience rather than just a comedy/drama. Note the opening credits with Hoffman on an airport moving sidewalk set to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". Nichols' uses cuts very interestingly in several scenes such as the scene where Benjamin jumps up on his raft in the pool, and lands in bed with Mrs. Robinson. He also uses zooms to great effect throughout the film. Nichols' Best Director Oscar for this film was well-deserved. I think that Hoffman's performance should have won also, as well as the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry.
One other thing that I must mention is that The Graduate absolutely must been seen in its original aspect ratio! If you're not watching a widescreen version, then you're not watching The Graduate. The film was shot in the Panavision process with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Mike Nichols makes wonderful use of the 2.35:1 frame, so the film will be absolutely botched in pan and scan.Read more ›
The Mike Nichols film has suffered through the DVD era so far, represented by a series of double-dip issues that perpetuated the same sorry source materials: grainy picture, grating audio -- the typical first-generation DVD blahs.
Here comes "The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition," due Sept. 11. Fox's specs show 2.35:1 widescreen with DTS and Dolby Surround. This appears to be in true widescreen. (The previous DVDs' version apparently was created by throwing letterboxing atop the full-screen version. Seems the guy who was so big on plastics got into the home video business.)
Check out the new extras:
* Commentary by Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross
* Commentary by director Nichols and Steven Soderbergh
* Retrospective documentary that interviews "Graduate" write Buck Henry, producer Lawrence Turman, Richard Roeper and some random others.
* "Coming of Age: The Making of The Graduate" featurette
* "Would You Like Me To Seduce You: The Seduction Scene Revisited" featurette
Along with some odds and ends ported over from the older discs.
Disc 2 has a pleasant surprise: Simon & Garfunkle's soundtrack, in CD form.
I'll be revisiting the film for Hoffman's sonic boom of a breakout performance; the "Mrs. Robinson" song and seduction scene; and Ross' beautifully naturalistic presence. Koo-koo-ka-choo.
Unfortunately, this DVD does not do it justice. The main problem is the audio. The sound track is just ever so slightly out of sync with the picture throughout the entire film. In one scene, when Benjamin's mother confronts him about his nocturnal activities, the problem is extremely noticeable. The sound is mixed badly throughout, especially during the second half of the film, when Benjamin starts seeing Elaine (Katherine Ross). Crucial dialog is drowned out by sound effects. By the end, you have to crank up the volume on your TV to wake-up-the-neighbors levels just to hear what the characters are saying. This is inexcusable. I also note, from an earlier review, that the laserdisk version had a director's commentary, so why doesn't the DVD?
Some day, they'll put out a good DVD version of the movie, until then we'll have to be content with VHS and Turner Classic Movies.
I give the film "The Graduate" from 1967 as many stars as any ratings measure can grant, but this DVD is a very poor represntation that is disrespectful of the genuine classic piece of cinematic art and cultural revolutionary comedy-piece that this movie was and always will be!
It's a shame. The picture is still grainy and the "widescreen" is still a full-screen image with black bars at top & bottom and NOT a true 16X9 formatted image for widescreen televisions! This true masterpiece of film demands nothing short of the best optimization that current-day technology can (and should) provide! Anything less is completely unacceptable! I'm sorry, but this is a travesy. The Graduate deserves the most pristine image and sound quality that the DVD format can give and viewers should demand nothing short of that high-standard of excellence.
The sound is in a lousy mono and the picture is fuzzy at times, desaturated, grainy, noisy, and compressed too much. The producers of this DVD obviously aren't die-hard fans and did a half-a** job here. Most fans of this film would gladly pay a few extra dollars for a better version, so why go cheap on such a great classic is beyond me?!? That's just a moronic business decision of a cheap corporation that doesn't know art from a hole in the ground, always cutting corners to salvage every penny. For shame!
I wish the Criterion Collection would remaster the Graduate and finally do it right! Amen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant film. Great acting, directing, story, themes and music. A timeless classic.Published 8 days ago by Cat
classic movie with a great cast - Dustin Hoffman, Catherine Ross, Buck Henry, Ann Bancroft, Richard Dreyfus (can you spot him?) and of course the soundtrack by Simon and GarfunkelPublished 23 days ago by Todd Gunerman
It has been 20+ yes since I watched this film and it has not lost anything with time. Simply brilliant and beautifully acted, directed and filmed.Published 27 days ago by Abrubacca
I had to watch this film for a class. I'm not particularly fond of older movies, but this one was actually pretty good. It has a scandalous love story and great acting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ang
Goes well with the movie "Rumor Has It" which is part TwoPublished 1 month ago by Allen G Sainsbury
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