Special Event: The Graduate Film/Book!

Hello my Classic Fiction Enthusiasts-
The Graduate will be playing at the Paramount on 6/21 for one evening and for a mere $5.00! If you like, feel free to join me in reading Charles Webb's novel.

We will meet at the Paramount where I will be standing in line.  The day before we meet, I will send an e-mail with my phone number and description of what I'm wearing so you can find me.  We will enter the theatre to get seats at 7:00 sharp. We will have about 30 minutes (festivities begin at 7:30, curtain goes up at 8 p.m.) to have a drink and discuss the novel. Reading the book is not required if you'd like to join us for the film only.

If you've never been to the Paramount in Oakland, you're in for a real treat!

It's like stepping back into the past, into one of those glorious movie palaces of a bygone era! And all for a five-dollar admission.Film showings at the Paramount include a half-hour organ concert of classic songs (starting at 7:30), followed by cartoons, newsreels, clips of coming attractions, and even a raffle drawing with prizes such as dinners for two at some of the area's finest restaurants! Winner of the East Bay Express's "Best Movie-Going Experience" and voted "Best Deal in the Bay Area," it's a wonderful night out on the town!

I recommend taking BART, which stops right underneath the theater at the 19th street station (20th street exit).



The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The screenplay was by Buck Henry, who makes a cameo appearance as a hotel clerk, and Calder Willingham.

The film tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman), a recent university graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and then proceeds to fall in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).

In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Initially, the film was placed at #7 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies list in 1998. When AFI revised the list in 2007, the film was moved to #17.

Adjusted for inflation, the film is #21 on the list of highest-grossing films in the United States and Canada.

Critical response

A.D. Murphy of Variety and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film upon its release, with Murphy describing it as a "delightful satirical comedy-drama" and Ebert claiming it was the "funniest American comedy of the year".

For the film's thirtieth anniversary reissue, Roger Ebert retracted some of his previous praise for the film, noting that he now felt its time has passed and he now had more sympathy for Mrs. Robinson than Benjamin, whom he considered "an insufferable creep." He, along with Gene Siskel, gave the film a mediocre review on the television programSiskel & Ebert.


Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, and Katharine Ross earned Oscar nominations for their performances. Along with the acting nominations, the film received nominations for BestCinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. Mike Nichols won the Academy Award for Best Director.

The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Editing (to Sam O'Steen).

In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", and placed #21 on the list of highest-grossing films in the United States and Canada, adjusted for inflation.

Years later in interviews, Anne Bancroft conceded that, much to her surprise, Mrs. Robinson was the role with which she was most identified, and added "Men still come up to me and tell me 'You were my first sexual fantasy.'"

American Film Institute recognition

  • 1998: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - #7
  • 2000: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - #9
  • 2002: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions - #52
  • 2004: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs:
    • "Mrs. Robinson" - #6
  • 2005: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes:
    • "Plastics." - #42
    • "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" - #63
  • 2007: AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #17

The film is listed in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book.

Alfa Romeo produced a "Graduate" edition Alfa Romeo Spider, the car Benjamin drives in the film.

The Graduate is a 1963 novel by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. It tells the story of Benjamin Braddock, who, while pondering his future after his graduation, has an affair with the older Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner.

It was adapted into the highly successful 1967 movie The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols and with Dustin Hoffman in the title role. Webb has stated he never felt comfortable with the attention the movie brought him because he felt it distracted from his status as a serious artist. He did not receive any royalties from the film and has stated he is glad it happened that way.

On the episode of the AMC television show Movies That Shook the World devoted to the film adaptation, Webb revealed the identity of the real-life inspiration for Mrs. Robinson: Jane Erickson (exact spelling unknown), the wife of an associate of Webb's father. However, that was the extent of any similarity with the novel; Webb denied having a relationship with her.

Charles Richard Webb (born on June 9, 1939 in San Francisco, California) is the author of several novels, mainly known for his most famous work, The Graduate (1963), which was made into the enormously successful film of the same name (1967).

Webb's first and most famous novel was published in 1963, prefiguring many of the social tensions of the 1960s which the book would come to represent. As with much of Webb's work, it was immediately notable for its flawlessly pitched dialogue, wry humor, and evocative use of understatement. Through this novel, the character of "archetypal seductive older woman" Mrs. Robinson has found a permanent niche in American cultural history.

Webb sold the film rights for a one-off payment reported to be $20,000. He was rarely associated with the movie's publicity and not particularly with the growth of its reputation. Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, the script writers, assumed much of the credit for the work despite taking most of the dialogue directly from the book.

During the movie's enormous success, the producer, Joseph E. Levine, offered Webb token recognition by an additional compensation of $10,000.

As of 2006, Webb has been with his long-term partner Eve for more than 40 years. Eve shaves her head and calls herself "Fred" in solidarity with a Californian support group called Fred, for men who have low self-esteem. Fred is an artist and her work includes illustrations for Webb's 2002 novel New Cardiff. The couple have two sons, one of whom is now a performance artist who once cooked and ate a copy of The Graduate with cranberry sauce.

The Webbs removed their children from school so that they could tutor them at home. This was an illegal act in California at the time, and to evade the authorities they fled the state; at one point they managed a nudist camp in New Jersey. They also divorced - accounts vary as to why (it was not due to personal differences), either in protest against the institution of marriage, or against the US's lack of marriage rights for gays. They sold their wedding presents back to their guests, and having given away four houses in succession, lived on the breadline, taking menial jobs as cleaners, cooks and fruit-pickers, working at K-Mart and living in a shack. They currently live in Hove, East Sussex,England.



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  • Carissa

    Hilarious! Thanks for coming out tonight! Definitely prefer the film to the book!

    June 21, 2013

  • Carissa

    I am here! Blue jeans, blue shirt, and pregnant! In line!

    June 21, 2013

  • lenka

    Unfortunately, my schedule has unexpectedly changed alas I will not be able to attend.

    June 21, 2013

  • Helene H.

    I unfortunately won't be able to make it.
    I am sorry!
    Have a great time!

    June 20, 2013

  • Marilyn

    Sorry to miss it!

    June 20, 2013

  • EileenBerkun

    Guess what I got a thrift store for .50! I can read it before the 21, then we can pass it around the group

    1 · May 31, 2013

    • Carissa

      Good score Eieleen!

      May 31, 2013

  • Lucymarie R.

    OK. I'll be there. Anyone who can't stand my groaning and moaning about Benjamin Braddock has fair warning to sit far from me.

    May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very excited to see this on the big screen!

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Lucymarie R.

    I'm afraid that I've already had more than I can tolerate of Benjamin Braddock and Mrs. Robinson. Poor Elaine.

    1 · April 28, 2013

  • lenka

    Looking forward to this.

    1 · April 27, 2013

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