Nostalgia Critic - WTF is with the Ending of The Graduate?

(149 votes, average 4.89 out of 5)
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Comments (128)
  • Vulture
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    *has never seen this movie, will probably be watching it now.*

    That was deep. I've never this movie, I'm not sure I've ever even heard of this movie but now I am definitely interested in finding out what it's all about.
  • Morgil
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    I haven't seen it either, but i have seen it parodied on Simpsons, Family Guy, and Wayne's World.
  • Maarons
    I've never seen this movie but my interpretation is: he bailed her out of something she didn't really, truly want and now she'll make her own destiny not necessarily with him. There. Saved you a whole video.
  • Amykins
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    You should, it's a beautiful film and an important one in the history of cinema.

    That said, I don't think the ending is that complicated...they finally defy their parents, whom their entire lives revolved around up until now, and the last shot is the reality hitting them of "Crap...now what?"
  • SpeedyEric  - Mr. Walker, you're trying to suduce me.
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    I haven't yet seen The Graduate, but I HAVE seen parodies from movies like Wayne's World 2 and shows like The Simpsons. I even heard from Hoffman that he and the director were talking about making a sequel after the film became a hit, but as we all know, nothing turned out.
  • Mischi
    Wow, what great commments.
    First 4 started with:
    I haven't seen this movie but..
    I still need to say something.
    Sound of Silence should have played then, as well.
    (Well, at least no one pulled a 'first')
  • Valis77
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    never forget
  • skkg
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    Now try this plot with Rain Man.
  • ShadowHand
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    much like where the wild things are never saw this movie
  • animegx43
    Weird that such a heavy story doubled as a comedy.
  • Mides
    Yeah, having never seen the movie myself, and going off of Doug's analysis, I'm having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that this is a comedy.
  • Mythandariel
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    The thing that makes comedy funny, is that it hinges on someone else's misery. Take a look at NC's Tom and Jerry commentary and you will see a common thread.

    All comedy is based on truth. Truth hurts. And it isn't funny until someone gets hurt.
  • minnie3434
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    Explain movie. EXPLAIN!
  • Xterra
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    EXPLAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIIIIN!!!! *nuke goes off outside*
  • Fanofyou
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    This is such a sad movie.
  • GomJabber11
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    This movie is, to me, the textbook definition of a cruel comedy. That said, its also one of my all-time favorites. Glad to hear your thoughts, Doug.
  • MrInsecure
    And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you could know... oh oh oh oh...

    Seriously though, interesting look at this movie. I haven't seen it in years, but I feel like I need to go back and look at it again.
  • mr grump  - The Graduate
    I read that there is going to be a book that will be the sequel to "The Graduate" I don't want it. I think it's better to just leave the story with that final image.
  • Dacilriel
    The first time I saw this movie my immediate reaction when it ended was, "WTF was that?" I just couldn't figure it out at all. And honestly, I still can't. That ending scene on the bus is so strange.
  • Samuraiko
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    Another great editorial.

    And because people are probably going to ask, the music that he uses? MusicLoops.com, the track is called, appropriately enough, "Nostalgia."
  • bluecinderella4  - the ending probably got Nichols the Oscar
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    Graduate was a critical and commercial flop and out of it's many Oscar nominations it only scored one for Best Director Mike Nichols. I think Nichols won that because he didn't yell 'CUT' with that end scene. He just kept the camera rolling without Dustin or Katharine knowing and filmed their unsure/uncertain reactions which made for the ending it is today.

    And I just try and pretend the book sequel never happened.
  • bluecinderella4  - things I just realized after going over my first c
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    First: I meant critical and commercial success but the stupid edit button doesn't work so I can't fix it

    Second: I can see how Kramer vs. Kramer could be like a potential ending (but with Meryl Streep instead)

    Third: Charles Webb (the author of the Graduate) also wrote the book's sequel, yet not the screenplay- sort of like Winston Groom with Forrest Gump. And I can't help but wonder if he had any say in the making of the film
  • Moon Spirit
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    I see then. Never saw this movie, but know of its existence and impact. Seen it referenced twice on Simpsons, though I never thought the wedding with Grandpa and Marge's mom would be that.

    Now I have to see this movie.
  • WiiStation360
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    I think Kramer vs. Kramer is the sequel.

    The ending could be like in Austin Powers when the villains eventually stop laughing the same way they stopped smiling. But I like Critic's interpretation better.
  • Guild Navigator
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    Heh,same here. I always felt Kramer vs. Kramer was the spiritual sequel to The Graduate.

    You gotta look at the time this story was written. In 1963 when the Charles Webb novel came out,America was still smack dab in the middle of the 1950s Conformist mindset. The growing sentiment of rebellion against the whole Father Knows Best mentality was already brewing. In many ways this story reflects that growing sense of disconformity that many young people felt. Webb finished writing the novel just days after graduating college so that feeling was very fresh to him.
  • The Cinephile
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    I always figured the ending was sad, and it's been a couple years since I've seen it, but the one thing that always sticked-out was their straight faces at the end.

    I didn't even know the ending was an opposing issue, I just figured everyone had the same idea! But whatever, interpretations are what they are.
  • RoninOfDeath
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    It's funny. I just watched this movie for the first time last Friday just because I wanted something to watch.
    I'm going to be honest I had the same thoughts watching the end as their smiles vanished, but I still blame all this on Mrs. Robinson.
  • jordan1650
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    Hey that last clip was of him playing a person with autism! Don't make fun of special needs!
  • yotje1988  - @ jordan
    well i can't say much about the movie you are talking about, but why would the NC not be aloud to make a joke about autism? i mean it realy depends on the form of autism he's is making the joke about but i do know a few people with asperger and high functioning autism and they do have a sence of humor about it. but well i havent seen the movie that clip is from so i don't know what form he's joking about. but besides that i think the people with autism i know problely be more offended by you calling them special needs since while they do have some problems they run into every now and again a lot of them have their own place and a good job that they studied/worked hard for and they have a pretty "normal" life.
  • fuujin  - @yotje
    ha ha ha, lurk moar dude. NC got in trouble for making an autism joke in the past
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2
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    Very interesting point(s) to consider NC.
  • dbz007  - Interesting Editorial
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    I didn't see that much of this movie but I will say that is very interesting that if they did make the right choice from the ending. I don't know what else to say about this editorial but it's interesting if it was the right choice from the ending. Anyways, great editorial and I can't wait to see more of the Nostalgia Critic episode. =)
  • re11ding  - I never knew this existed
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    Wow... that ending got me wrapped around it's finger of mystery. I feel that they didn't think it through as they said, and it's sad now, since they're... either together or on their own, but even the main character goes back to where he started. Not knowing what to do.
  • 88ace88
    avatar
    An interesting thing I heard was on the Spider-man 2 commentary: some guy (don't remember who was in the commentary) was asking the director if the last scene with Mary Jane at the window was supposed to be an homage to last scene of the graduate, and the director is just like "Um... no... not really" like he was trying to figure out how the guy even made that connection. But it IS an interesting connection and another good reason to not have Spider-man 3 :D .
  • Ogre Samanosuke
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    Hah, a few years ago I had a film history class, and the final was to watch The Graduate entirely and analyze the ending. I remember citing a few specific points, like the fact it was a school bus they got onto, even though it's mostly filled with adults, signifying their childlike response to the situation with their rebellion.

    Also, if memory serves, Sound of Silence was a few years old by the time The Graduate came out, and Mike Nichols never intended to keep it in the movie, but ended up finding no proper replacement for it.
  • Firedrake368
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    I saw this movie for the first time a few months ago and while I LOVED the first half of it (it was perfect. Literally. I wish it had ended with Elaine running off) I was never really crazy about the second half. Ben pretty much turns into a stalker and gets Elaine caught up in his wild dreams of rebellion. I had never really considered that the film makers were INTENTIONALLY trying to show what dumb decisions they were making. I guess I just chalked it up the, as you stated, Disney thing where they go on two dates and are instantly in love and that the film makers were playing Ben and Elaine's actions as romantic when in reality they were probably showing how wrong the characters were. I never bothered to really analyze it further until the bus ride at the end with their awkward silence, but by then I was too annoyed with the scenes that would have had it make sense to consider them. Thanks for helping me rethink this movie Doug! :D
  • jccw227
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    That was actually a really good analysis. I myself always thought of the look on their face (as well as Benjamin's overall attitude) being "Ok, now what?" This actually gave me something else to think about. I should watch that movie again.
  • AbsintheMinded
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    Video length 8 minutes and 60 seconds? Why not just 9 minutes even?
  • lamecasuelas
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    i've never seen the movie, i have read the book though , and this might be an instance in which the adaptation from one media to another shakes the content a little bit
  • Dore
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    Even as a fan of classic films, I gotta say, I never liked this one, even after repeated viewings. I just didn't like Hoffman's character enough to get into the movie as a whole.
  • e_gilbert44  - Never... really??
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    I'm really surprised at how many people here are saying they have never even heard of The Graduate! Maybe it's because I'm a film student, but I just find that shocking. It's like saying you've never heard of Citizen Kane. Personally, I loved the ending. I think it's awkward, open ending makes a statement that life has no happy endings, or sad endings. That life just is. Benjamin and Elaine's "What now?" expressions while on the bus are just so human and real. Will they regret their decisions? Only time will tell.
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