Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How “The Graduate” Became the Touchstone of a Generation
It was fifty years ago this year that the film The Graduate (1967) hit the big screen, gathering gobs of fans and becoming one of the cult films that helped define the American 1960s. Other films were reflective of the times, but The Graduate captured the inter-generational angst of the times and in many ways was more romantic than political. It was not about the war or ethnic unrest but rather about the powers of attraction, free love, and the romantic choices one gets stuck with.
Film insider and author Beverly Gray tells all about this film in Seduced by Mrs. Robinson, describing how the film became a “touchstone of a generation.” Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft, is an older married women who seduces Dustin Hoffman, just out of college. But they can’t really communicate, and Hoffman falls in love with her daughter. The film argues like the Beatles song that all you need is love, but this is movieland, where money is not an obvious concern. Gray does a thorough job of letting the reader know about what went into making the movie and what happened afterward. The book is filled with facts, gossip, and trivia, maybe even to a fetishistic degree, but the reader will really be happily in the know because of it.