Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, William Daniels
Let's be real. Most coming of age movies aren't as, uh, interesting, as The Graduate. Typically, you've got kids going from childhood to adulthood dealing with the same struggles—discovering certain bodily functions, falling in love for the first time, or losing a parent. In other words, whatever mushy sentimental story is your cup of tea.
The Graduate is a departure from the norm, which has made it a classic coming-of-age film. Why? Dustin Hoffman's character, Benjamin, is pretty much already a man. He's just graduated college, and his journey becomes one from the classroom to the bedroom (yes, in the sexual way). Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) teaches the much younger Benjamin the ways of seduction, and shows him the importance of being himself and challenging authority. Of course, that doesn't mean his life will get any easier, as evidenced by the incredible ending. —TA