Thursday, August 19, 2010
56. The Graduate (1967)
-Elaine, it's too late!
-Not for me!
Wow. Where to begin? This is a movie of so many firsts: It really begins a genre of intergenerational "us versus them" movies, it is one of the earliest movies that has the now ever present "resolved (but then again maybe not)" endings, and it introduced the world to Dustin Hoffman who has now portrayed every role from grizzled sage to eccentric savant to Captain Hook. Still, I believe The Graduate's most important contribution to movies is the combination of popular music and film. Movies (many on this list) had already successfully used music, but this is the first time that pop hits were used that stood on their own. This process has evolved today to create the job of "music consultant" (someone who chooses popular songs to fit with specific scenes) and many directors have used this as a tool to skyrocket their films to great reknown (ex.- Tarantino, Wes Anderson, etc.). Even Kevin Smith spent more money securing the rights for the songs in "Clerks" than on making the movie itself. The Graduate enlisting the help of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel pioneered this process.
Take the music out of this scene and it is just another movie (DO NOT watch if you haven't seen The Graduate!):