Dustin Hoffman, at that time an unknown 29-year-old off-Broadway character actor, was so obviously the wrong person to play a strapping 21-year-old blonde Californian sports jock and college graduate, who is seduced by his father's business partner's alcoholic wife. It is to his lasting credit and Nichol's belief in the symbiosis of opposites that his portrayal of Benjamin Braddock has become a benchmark performance, heralding an era of anti-heroes. Ben's evolution throughout the film from virginal wet rag to self-possessed leading man is cleverly and credibly conceived.
Benjamin Braddock: I've had this feeling ever since I graduated. This kind of compulsion that I have to be rude all the time...It's like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don't make any sense to me. They're being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.
The sexual revolution is about to kick into high gear when Benjamin Braddock (a perpetually befuddled Dustin Hoffman, in his first major screen role), the clueless graduate of the title, comes home after four years of undergraduate studies in the East. Benjamin has no idea what to do with his life; his rich, upper-class parents (William Daniels and Elizabeth Wilson) provide little guidance, as do their unhelpful neighbors:
The first students to do graduate work enrolled in 1877, leading to the awarding of the first master's degree in 1878.1 However, a graduate program was not set up until 1891.2 The Graduate School was formally organized in 1907, after appropriation of funds by the Illinois General Assembly.3 Its name was changed to the Graduate College in 1947, in anticipation of its new significance in the University organization.4 In 1968, the Board of Trustees provided for separate Graduate Colleges on each of three University campuses.5 The Graduate College has the responsibility of developing and safeguarding standards of graduate work and promoting and assisting research by faculty members.6 It provides assistance and supervision to other degree-granting units on the campus.7 59ce067264