The Graduate

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of The Graduate
The Graduate

The One To One is a taster of an interview, with a surprisingly relaxed and amusing Dustin Hoffman, who at certain stages in his career was dubbed difficult and demanding. He is none of these things here, as he contemplates his ideas for a sequel, in which Benjamin has an affair with his son's girlfriend. "I become Mrs Robinson," he says, grinning.

He talks of coming to Hollywood for the screen test and spending two hours in make up, during which time he meet his director, Mike Nichols. "Can't you do something with his eyebrows?" Nichols said. They were plucked ("I didn't like being plucked," Hoffman retorts). "What can we do with that nose?" Nichols continued. "And his neck is too thick."

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Hoffman survived this ordeal and finally did his test with the captivating Katherine Ross. They were so nervous, he thought he might releave the tension by pinching her bum gently. Big mistake. She turned on him in a fury (Hoffman gives an impression of an enraged Katherine) and it wasn't until much later, almost half way through the shoot, that they patched things up and became friends.

In the round robin tradition of talking to everyone, The Graduate At 25 featurette looks back in nostalgia at youthful days before success and fame changed their lives and is consistently enjoyable, if a tad lightweight. Anne Bancroft and Nichols are much missed, but otherwise the suspects are here, with writer/actor Buck Henry being the most lucid and entertaining.

Insider chit-chat has much to be recommended. Ross remembers that they rehearsed for three weeks before a single frame was shot, something almost unheard of these days, and Henry recalls that "our fantasy casting was Bob Redford and Candice Bergen, with Ronald Reagan and Doris Day, all blonde, all healthy, a family of surfboards. And here comes Dustin, surely not a surfboard! He's a throwback, as if Ronald Reagan and Doris Day has had this mutt."

Ross's extreme beauty is mentioned in passing and Hoffman remembers that he couldn't look at her for fear that such perfection might make him blind. Ross says she found it difficult to choose from the thousands of scripts that were offered after The Graduate and almost gave up. She didn't, because she went on to ride a bike with Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, accompanied by Burt Bacharat's Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.

Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2004
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Classic Sixties Californian satire on the sexual initiation of a shy 21-year-old virgin.
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Scott Macdonald: HD-DVD

Product Code: MP043D

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Extras: One To One With Dustin Hoffman; The Graduate At 25 featurette; picture gallery; trailer

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