Tag Archives: Dustin Hoffman

Film: Movies of 1976


It was a great year for famous quotes. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"..."You talkin' to me?"..."Yo, Adrian"..."Is it safe?" Uploaded by americanrhetoric.com.

Maybe it was the Bicentennial that inspired so many excellent movies. Okay, probably not. All I know is that 1976 was one of those special years when it was fun to be a movie fan because there was always something good playing. Such as:

All the President’s Men (Great American Things, October 7, 2010) – Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman solve Watergate. Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards.

Carrie – Brian De Palma brings Steven King to the screen for the first time.

The Eagle Has Landed – a great thriller starring Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland.

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Marathon Man – one of my personal favorites. Laurence Olivier asks Dustin Hoffman, “Is it safe?”

Network – Peter Finch won the Best Actor Oscar and railed, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Faye Dunaway earned Best Actress.

Rocky (Great American Things, August 2, 2010) – Sylvester Stallone came out of nowhere to write and direct the year’s box office winner. Won Best Picture, and Best Director (John Avildsen).

Silver Streak – First pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor is both comic and box office gold.

A Star is Born – this remake of the classic starred Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The number two box office movie of the year.

Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese directed, Robert De Niro starred. Won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. “You talkin’ to me?”

Film: All the President’s Men


The source book was dense and detailed. Screenwriter extraordinaire William Goldman distilled its essence, turning it into an engrossing thriller. Uploaded by john-likes-movies.blogspot.com.

Typically, when you’ve read a book and then see the movie adaptation of that book, the film leaves much to be desired. So much must be omitted. That’s one of the things that cause me to marvel at this movie – long after the book has faded, the Alan Pakula film is still fascinating to watch.

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One of the reasons is the screenwriter. William Goldman is one of the all-time masters of the art, and he realized what was important in the complicated Watergate saga, and what didn’t advance the story. Especially considering the large cast in this epic.

The main characters were excellent – Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein and Robert Redford as fellow Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. And what a supporting cast! Martin Balsam, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins…

All the President’s Men received eight Academy Awards nominations, and won four (Sound, Art Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor – Robards).

Film: TheĀ Graduate

These famous legs don't actually belong to Anne Bancroft, but to actress Linda Gray. Uploaded by projectorhead.wordpress.com.

Beyond a memorable script, a terrific cast, a visionary director, and perfect music, some movies just happen to fully embody the Zeitgeist of its era. So it was with The Graduate, a masterful movie that perfectly captured the freedom and angst of the late 60s.

The script came courtesy of Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Dustin Hoffman made his major movie debut, and was perfect as Benjamin Braddock, while Anne Bancroft portrayed Mrs. Robinson with the perfect blend of sultriness and ennui. It was director Mike Nichols’ second film, following the startling Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. That’s a pretty auspicious beginning. And the music of Simon and Garfunkel was expertly woven through the film, a soundtrack not just for the movie, but for the times.

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I love behind-the-scenes movie trivia, so here are a couple of things about The Graduate I found interesting. Dustin Hoffman was 30 and Anne Bancroft was 36 when the movie was made, but Hoffman looked so young and Bancroft so mature that they carried off cross-generational lovers. And the legs in the famous movie poster, beyond which we see Hoffman, didn’t belong to Bancroft, but to a young model – Linda Gray, who went on to play Sue Ellen Ewing in Dallas.

The Graduate was selected as the number seven movie in the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies” program. Two lines from the movie also are among the most famous in film history: “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” was selected as number 63 by the AFI and number 17 by Premiere magazine. And “Plastics” was the AFI’s number 42 quote.