The Graduate



Influential coming-of-age sex comedy.
  • Review Date: October 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1967
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ben has an adulterous affair with an older woman.

Not applicable

Although only brief nudity is present, sex is an ever-present topic. Ben has an affair with a married woman, then falls in love with her daughter.

Not applicable

Celebration of elaborate gifts (Alfa Romeo, Scuba gear).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some 60s-level drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a unique comedy charting an affair between a young man and a married friend of his parents. Much time is spent on the initial seduction and subsequent clandestine meetings in hotel rooms. Though no graphic depictions of intercourse are shown, there are brief shots of female nudity during the seduction and later in a nightclub scene, where a woman strips down to underwear and pasties. Language is fairly restrained, with a few minor curse words, like "ass" or "damn" used sparingly. Many of the adults are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes very casually and with an air of acceptance.

What's the story?

After Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) graduates from college, he's disinterested in everything, career related or not. A family friend, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), propositions him with an offer of casual sex. The affair seems to bring Benjamin a certain level of contentment. Soon Ben finds problems with their relationship and develops an interest in the Robinsons' daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross), much to Mrs. Robinsons' disapproval.

Is it any good?


Much has been said about the success and aftershocks of the release of THE GRADUATE in 1967. Certainly its deadpan humor and the main character's palpable sense of unease resonated with audience members steeped in the rising counterculture movement. It stands as a document of an era. The lush soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel underscores a pervasive melancholy throughout the film, while also giving certain quiet moments an astounding serenity –- a marriage of pop music and film that influenced many later films.

Another way this movie is influential: The plot seems to build towards an energetic climax, but the actual closing moments are listless, providing little closure. This way of leaving a film open-ended and unsettled, above all else, influenced many of the cinematic treasures of the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period that most look back on as golden days of motion picture history.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how well this movie has aged. Does Benjamin's lack of direction upon graduating seem applicable today, or is it more reflective of the state of youth in the 60s? Parents will definitely want to address his complicated relationship with Mrs. Robinson. Does Mrs. Robinson seem genuinely interested in Benjamin? If not, what might her motives be in seducing him? Why does Elaine seem to gain appeal for Benjamin when Mrs. Robinson forbids him to see her? Why is the movie called The Graduate?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 22, 1967
DVD release date:December 7, 1999
Cast:Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross
Director:Mike Nichols
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byFightClub September 4, 2010

git r done

Great film! watched it two hours ago! higly reccomend for movie fans
Teen, 14 years old Written bymiranda1993 April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byBigGreenMovieMachine July 16, 2011

Great Film!

Great film, very entertaining, but by todays standards the film would receive a PG-13 instead of a PG.


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