“We are about to begin our descent into Los Angeles …” It’s been 45 years since Benjamin Braddock’s commencement into the world of his uptight parents and their venal friends; today he’s probably retired, golfing and living in Florida off the fortune he made — in plastics. (Too bad we never got to see the Graduate sequel co-screenwriter Buck Henry pitches in Robert Altman’s The Player — wait, no it isn’t.) But Mike Nichols’ landmark 1967 satire preserves him in the bloom of his impulsive, uncertain youth, along with Simon & Garfunkel singing Paul Simon’s wiseguy lit-major folksongs on the soundtrack, and the movie evokes a new grad’s confusion so fully that for more than two decades Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Cinema showed it every May.
Dustin Hoffman (b. 1937) plays the bewildered Ben, and the late Anne Bancroft (b. 1931) is Mrs. Robinson, the cinema’s pre-eminent cougar; may we say we always considered him a dip for not ditching Katharine Ross’ dewy ingénue and running off with her sex-bomb mom? Take your teens when The Belcourt screens Rialto’s new 45th-anniversary print this weekend through Sunday — if only so you won’t have to smack them every time you refer to the movie and they look at you uncomprehendingly.