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Considered by the American Film Institute to be the 17th best movie of all times, The Graduate is a satirical comedy-drama that continues to entertain and delight audiences nearly five decades after its theatrical release. Based on a not-so best selling novella by Charles Webb, the themes of The Graduate have endured the tests of time, ringing true to viewers of all ages. Highly acclaimed and widely adored, there is much to learn about the 22nd highest gross movie of all time (adjusted to reflect inflation, of course).

1. Here’s To You Mr. Hoffman

When filming Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft’s first encounter in the hotel room, Hoffman decided to grab his co-star’s breast in the scene, unbeknownst to her. Hoffman was inspired to do so because it reminded him of the awkward ways teenage boys attempt to get cozy with girls. However, when Hoffman executed his off-the-cuff blocking, director Mike Nichos began uncontrollably laughing, causing Hoffman to laugh. Rather than ruin the scene, Hoffman turned from the camera, walked to the wall, and began banging his head against it. Nichols was so amused by the whole thing that the scene was kept in the movie as-is.


2. Step Aside, Robert Redford

Originally Robert Redford screen-tested with Candice Bergen for director Mike Nichols. Redford, who had won a Golden Globe in 1965, did not have the underdog qualities Nichols was looking for in his lead actor. Upon delivering this news to Redford, the actor asked Nichols for clarification. “Well, let’s put it this way,” said Nichols, “Have you ever struck out with a girl?” “What do you mean?” asked Redford. “That’s precisely my point,” said Nichols.


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