1776

  • Directors: Peter H Hunt
  • Producers: Jack L Warner
  • Writers: Peter Stone
  • Genres: Drama, Family, History, Musical
  • Actors: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva

The film focuses on the representatives of the thirteen original colonies who participated in the Second Continental Congress. 1776 depicts the three months of deliberation (and, oftentimes, acrimonious debate) that led up to the signing of one of the most important documents in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence.

The Graduate

  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Producers: Joseph E Levine, Lawrence Turman
  • Writers: Screenplay, Calder Willingham, Buck Henry, Novel, Charles Webb
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Comedy
  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels

Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) returns home, shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree from an unnamed college in the northeast United States, to a party celebrating his graduation at his parents’ house in Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles. Benjamin is visibly uncomfortable at the party attended by his parents’ friends. He remains aloof while his parents deliver accolades and neighborhood friends ask him about his future plans. Benjamin escapes from each person who comes to congratulate him, exposing his seeming embarrassment at all the honors he had won at college. Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father’s law partner, asks Benjamin to drive her home, which he reluctantly does.

Arriving at her home, she pleads for Benjamin to come inside, saying that she does not like to enter a dark house. Once inside, she forces a drink on him, and later exposes herself to him offering to have an affair with him. Initially flustered, he is immediately shocked by her advances and flees. A few days later he calls her and their affair begins.

Benjamin is clearly uncomfortable with sexuality, but he is drawn into the affair with the older, but still attractive, Mrs. Robinson. Their affair appears to last most of the summer. All of their scenes pass in a musically-backed montage, showing the endless pass of time. One scene is edited so that it appears Benjamin is walking directly from his parents’ dining room into the hotel room he shares with Mrs. Robinson. This seems to accent the separation of him and his parents, though they still live under the same roof.

After a violent struggle with Elaine’s parents and wedding guests (Ben armed only with a large cross), Ben and Elaine escape on a public bus. The escaping couple sits smiling at the back of the bus, the other passengers stare at them in mute disbelief. Ben’s smile fades to an enigmatic, neutral, somewhat uncomfortable expression as he gazes forward into the bus. As Elaine looks at Ben’s expression, she takes on a similar gaze.