DVD Review: The Graduate’s acidic cringe comedy endures for another generation

Back in 1997, on the occasion of The Graduate‘s 30th anniversary, Roger Ebert wrote a revised review in which he expressed a great deal of embarrassment about his formerly high opinion of it. (He’d called it “the funniest American comedy of the year” at the time of its original release.) “Great movies remain themselves over the generations; they retain a serene sense of their own identity,” he asserted. “Lesser movies are captives of their times. They get dated and lose their original focus and power.” In particular, Ebert confessed that he had once considered The Graduate‘s protagonist, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a heroic rebel, whereas in hindsight the character struck Ebert as an “insufferable creep.” The piece is written very much in the first person, but Ebert clearly felt that an entire generation had been snowed back in the late ’60s, and that a clear-eyed, modern-day view …

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