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The Graduate (1967)


This information is for the Laserdisc release, not a DVD release.

NOTE: This commentary track is only available on the Criterion Collection laserdisc release of "The Graduate".

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Film historian Howard Suber Rating:7.9/10 (15 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by scroll2b on December 11th, 2004:Find all reviews by scroll2b
Oh dear Lord, what a commentary! This track is on par with the Michael Jeck commentary for Seven Samurai, but it's only available on Criterion's laserdisc. The film's scholar, Howard Suber, takes you through all aspects of the production and script, from the significances of harsh and soft lighting, to the elements which are NOT in focus, to the overall arch of Benjamin's character. Once you hear this track by Howard Suber, you'll want to hear his others. This is an absolute must-listen for any student of film. RATED TEN.
Reviewed by Glenn Hopp on March 1st, 2006:Find all reviews by Glenn Hopp
Yes, I agree that this is an excellent commentary and that it should be revived on DVD from laserdisc. In addition to what is said by the other reviewer, Suber makes some very interesting comments about the film as a comedy, such as that the hero in comedy goes from being passive to being active at some point in the narrative (reached here when Benjamin tells his parents about marrying Elaine: "It's a decision I've made"). The popping toast emphasizes his point.
Reviewed by Buldrebisk on August 3rd, 2008:Find all reviews by Buldrebisk
This is the commentary that all other commentaries should be measured by. Unlike many of the commentaries I've heard, he comes very well prepared and shows complete control and enthusiasm. His timing, lenght and selection of comments are spot on. Perfect! 10/10
Reviewed by sedna on July 27th, 2013:Find all reviews by sedna
Everyone above me is spot on - this is quite a solid commentary in terms of pointing out filmmaking information such as the visual design of the film and how it relates to the story. Howard Suber has done his research, you'll hear him point out many of the techniques, however subtle they are. He also points out the various focal lengths of lenses on certain shots and why they were chosen, etc. He talks at great length about comedy vs tragedy, the specifics of each and so on. Definitely track this down. Was worth my time
Reviewed by Russ on October 21st, 2014:Find all reviews by Russ
For the most part I agree that this commentary is excellent. About 85% was useful and and on point and I grade harshly.

I learned new things such as the black and white use in the women's attire, awnings, the warmth surrounding Elaine's room and presence, etc.
Overall it's the best commentary/review that I've seen on this movie. It should be available on any copy, DVD, VHS, etc.

However there are some glaring omissions that either have or will be revealed by others.

Hoffman required oxygen after that long run once he runs out of gas.
Since they noted Dreyfus why not note the kid shaving from his TV shows.
He credits the director for the long pause Ann does while smoking and being kissed. This is hardly new. Nichols and May did this in their sketches.

His overanalysis is bothersome. He interprets things that just happened as "brilliant". He goes into his own psychological interpretations which are...........only his.

Oddly enough even Nichols admits his goof with a scene in which he forgot a scene's mastershot. Yet this'blunder'was deemed a brilliant use of darkness.
We see many things that are just ordinary yet interpreted as genius.

This is not to discredit the commentator's knowledge at all. All agree it is excellent.

But hearing his explanation of putting the top down over burgers, the genius of shooting through the triangle window pain in the car keeping them apart, well it's a stretch.

I remember Hoffman saying how when he first saw the movie his nose and nosehairs
disgusted him and he was humiliated. Why not go a bit into that. It's public knowledge.

When he explains Doris Day rejected it calling it slime. She never even saw it. Her husband/agent/controller Melcher read it, slimed it, rejected it.

My biggest objection: He minimizes Buck Henry's contribution and plays it town,
choosing to recognize other writers. Come On !

Read the book then read the first few drafts without Henry. It's garbage.