The Graduate is the second film directed by Mike Nichols, in which Benjamin (played by Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate with no well-defined aim in life, is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (played by Anne Bancroft) and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine (played by Katherine Ross). Commonly considered a film classic, and ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Funniest Movies.
Some scenes and themes in the film have become deeply embedded in the popular conciousness, even 30 years after its release, and have been widely parodied. One such scene involves the one-word career advice given to Benjamin by a family friend--"Plastics", offered as a self-explanatory key to a certain life of corporate success. Another particularly famous scene is the conclusion of the film, where Benjamin interrupts Elaine's wedding to convince her to join him, escaping on a public bus. The escaping couple sit at the back of the bus smile at each other, and the movie closes with a shot through the back window of the bus with their smiles fading to a famously enigmatic neutral expression.
The movie was turned into a hit play, both in London's West End and on Broadway, in 1998, starring a succession of still-beautiful famous older actresses in the role as Mrs. Robinson.