Co-presented by Tucson Festival of Books and The Loft Cinema.
Featuring a post-film discussion with Beverly Gray, author of the highly-acclaimed new book, Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How The Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation! Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing at this event.
“The most popular romantic comedy of the 1960s remains a film of imagination, creativity, beauty, humor, tension and moral seriousness. An artistic blockbuster!” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
Glamorous, funny, sexy and sad, The Graduate is an emotional touchstone for an entire generation, not to mention a crowd-pleasing late-‘60s harbinger of the “New Hollywood” studio films that would storm the movie industry in the early ‘70s. Here we have cleverly-crafted student unrest in bourgeois clothing, as young Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock, adrift after college, is craftily seduced by a woman of his parents’ generation: the fabulous Anne Bancroft’s icily-assured friend-of-the-family Mrs. Robinson (actually only six years Hoffman’s senior). So it’s understandable that Ben’s dream girl Katharine Ross is a bit startled to learn that he’s been sleeping with … her mother! Arguably, no other movie of the ‘60s — not even Bonnie and Clyde or Easy Rider — more successfully turned counterculture angst into popular culture. The biggest box office surprise of the decade, an Oscar-winner for second-time director Mike Nichols, and a revved-up vehicle for Hoffman’s star-making breakout role, The Graduate darkly and humorously captured the restlessness of an era. Buoyed by a razor sharp screenplay from Calder Willingham and Buck Henry and a legendarily evocative pop score by Simon & Garfunkel, this remains one of the most beloved classics of the American screen, filled with so many instantly-iconic moments (“Plastics!”), it’s almost like a cinematic greatest hits compilation of the counterculture generation. (Dir. by Mike Nichols, 1967, USA, 106 mins., Rated PG)
Beverly Gray is the author of Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches and Driller Killers as well as Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon … and Beyond. After earning her PhD in American literature at UCLA, Gray spent nearly a decade in the film industry, where she was Roger Corman’s story editor at both New World Pictures and Concord-New Horizons Pictures. She has covered the entertainment industry for the Hollywood Reporter and leads screenwriting workshops for UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program. She lives in Santa Monica, California.