Watching the movie "the Graduate"

Last night Turner Movie classics showed this award winning movie.I ask those familiar with it do you consider it a pornographic movie?
My husband had the good sense of walking away from it.I did not.
Part of me was telling me this is not good, the other part of me was making excuses that I, as adult should not be so scrupulous about a sex and passing of age subject…My husband came back to tell me I was watching something disgusting and he left for other room.
Only then I turned it off. Today I dont feel fit for communion.I am being too scrupulous?
Communion is the highlight of my Sundays.I do not know what to do.:o

Pornographic? No. Depressing existentialist junk? Yep. :cool:

Graduate, The – Fresh out of college, an aimless middle-class youth (Dustin Hoffman) is seduced by a suburban housewife (Anne Bancroft) but redeemed by his love for her daughter (Katharine Ross). Directed by Mike Nichols, this satiric tale of an innocent in a corrupt world harpoons the emptiness of materialistic values but offers little in its place. Questionable treatment of adultery and some strong language. (A-IV) (PG) ( 1968


I’ve seen it (bits and pieces never straight through). The love scenes are not explicit, I don’t think there is any nudity. The theme is somewhat mature.

There is one very brief flash [fraction of a second] of nudity when Anne Bancroft calls him upstairs and greets him nude. A quick flash and he turns and runs.

Although I thank you for your posts I was expecting an answer more in terms of advise.Not so much an explanation of what the movie is about.I saw it.
It’s entertaiment that leaves you with kind of unholy thoughts ,especially when it is the last thing you watch that day.
But,I already went and had communion,even if I felt not completely proper.:frowning:

I agree with your opinion on the flick. It is trash for the soul.

The more you try to promote a well formed Catholic conscience, the more this kind of stuff really gets to you. It gets to me, too. People today have no sense of what “scandal” means to a well formed Catholic sensibility, but we are totally surrounded by scandal all the time!

Luckily, scandal is not a sin (at least, not directly). If you have been scandalized but it has not caused you to sin, you’re okay to receive communion.

Your husband had the right reaction. Please keep up your guard! There is so much trash in the world-- and so much of it is celebrated by our degenerate culture that we’ve lost track of what is trash and what is not.

I was channel surfing and I saw I noticed the movie too. The movie I do not care too much but the music I really love it.

What really bothered me is that fact that the movie was rated PG (I assume by my provider Dish Network). My son just would have probably started to watch the movie just because it was one of the few rated PG. From my point of view it should be rated R, but that it is my opinion.:mad:

I just went to MPA and I found this statement:
"A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision.

The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture. " :mad::mad::mad:

Ratings were different in those days; there was no PG-13, first of all. Also, there was a harder cap on what you could get away with in an R movie, but there was a softer cap on what you could get away with in a PG movie (European Vacation, with Chevy Chase, has an extended scene at a cabaret in which the dancers have bare breasts, but that’s a PG movie, not PG-13).

The MPAA guidelines are for movies released today, not movies released then.

The US Bishop’s web site rates the movie L (limited audience) (previously A-IV). L is the rating just before O (morally Offensive). I interpret L to mean:

The movie has immoral material and/or gives immoral messages and lacks redeeming qualities to place perspective on some of the immoral elements. At the same time L also means that the material is not so terrible that an O rating is warranted. I generally find that when I watch an L movie, I am offended and I don’t like the movie so I avoid them. The Bishop’s web site seems accurate. However, a mature person can probably observe an L movie without sin (you can fast-forward some parts).

One thing that bothers me in many movies is the use of the name of God in vain. Acted violence and sexuality is not real, however, when the name of God is used in vain, even though it is part of the acting it still seems that since the name of God is used verbally in such as way, it is wrong.

As I have grown spiritually, my entertainment choices have changed. There have been a few instances when I have wanted to walk out of the movie theatre (and I was there with other Catholic women who were enjoying the movie). Really, there is little to watch at all, if you want total adherance to your faith. Have you noticed that premarital sex is ubiquitious? Every show has to have a gay couple? Just about every show mocks marriage (or men)? Modesty is painted as outdated? Motherhood is painted as a bore. I could go on and on.

Now, I do a couple of things. I look at the Catholic bishops review of movies. I also look at Christian movie reviews (I find them more critical at times). They give you a summary of the movie and rate it. They will give you specifics as to why they rate the movie as they do. For example, they count the times that the Lord’s name is taken in vain. They categorize the sexual nature of the movie (suggestive, premarital, nudity). This will help you make better choices.

Then you have to ask yourself, do I still want to see this? With the graduate that seems to be a “classic” that everyone knows about, is there value in being able to converse with others about the movie or relate it to current experiences for others? A part of me could completely disassociate from the world and just watch EWTN and read faith-based books. Another part of me says, that I live in this world and I should have some knowledge of it. I am not going to help cast nets by starting a conversation from my spiritual perspective. Sometimes, (actually, always) you need to meet people where they are first. In order to meet them where they are, you need to be able to relate to them based on thier perspective. Movies and books reflect social thinking and are very influential in shaping thought, unfortunately. They can give you insight into the humanity that society wants to create. I had a friend who was “the graduate” I could tell you his very sad story. In short, the mom and daughter never spoke again and the daughter ended up in a mental institution. This lead to his total conversion after some years. So if I entered a conversation on the “Graduate” I could provide additional insight as to what the movie did not address, what the reprecussions would be in reality, and I could point out things in the movie that I would see different from others (more unaffected viewers).

Again, this does not give me carte blanch to watch trash. Just as I watch what I eat, I watch what I view, I watch what I read. But sometimes, you might need a little exposure to junk…to be able to see what others find appealing in the junk and so you can inspire them out of it.

Unfortunately the bishops have exercised rather poor oversight on the movie reviews. I am thinking of two with homosexual themes which were praised by their reviewer.

Where can I find the Catholic bishops reviews and the Christian reviews? I have seen reviews in the Catholic Herald ,but those are for new movies, not oldies.
Thank you very much for your insights;they are helpful.

The review I had posted previously was from that website.
Personally, I don’t think the film is pornographic, and I do not think you sinned. The film is a mature theme, but not porn.

Good question. I have to confess that, in years past, I considered this one of my very favorite films - the dialogue, the story, the characters, the camerawork, the soundtrack were all excellently executed.

Nowadays, I’ve questioned it. My first thought is “this is trash”.

HOWEVER, if we examine the story…

The act of adultery does not lead to reward - it leads to dismay and confusion and chaos and heartbreak and remorse, and in the end the two people who should have gotten together actually do.

It seems almost Shakespearean. There is all kinds of adultery and murder throughout Shakespeare, but these sins are duly punished…and it seems that’s what happens in the Graduate, too.

If the Graduate glamorized adultery, that would be one thing, but in the end, Ben realizes what true love is and rejects Anne Bancroft. I would say it’s not pornographic, but mature subject matter…

When you present such reasoning,there is an inmediate tendency to agree.

Yet, there is more than the factual movie. In the end,when the curtains are drawn, you own that movie, you have incorporated it into your reservoir of experiences.
Your mind process it, gives it wings,that may take you places that may or may not be good for you.I always have told my children that if you fill yoursel with good things,most likely your words and thoughts will reflect that.
Conversely, if the well is brimming with experiences your “natural law”,not your sofistic reasoning tells you they are questionable from the point of view of being good for the soul, or moral, the bucket will come up with ugly waters. :eek:

And that is why I debated in my mind,to the last minute as I was advancing to get my communion.

Many thoughts started to come to me.Ex.Did Mr Robinson realized what was happening?
Maybe this was not the 1st time Mrs. Robinson had done something like that.
I may have read between words that he had come to accept this behaviour of his wife.
May be he had ed.His wife certainly looked younger.
And so it is, that without realizing one sets in motion the analysis of what has been seen.
When I was a child. I saw a scary movie in which behind the wall of a closet there was a whole town of ghosts. It took me something like three years to stop looking at my closet
with dread.
So what is in me, becomes me,since I am the sum of all my experiences.

Now me has to go to work:D

In the context of the times, Catholics, along with everybody else, were led to believe that movies, like good literature, could raise certain issues referred to as “mature themes.” That some high-minded art was involved. Not true. We were lied to. The Graduate should not be compared to great literature. It’s a movie about adultery. That’s it. It’s not an instructional film about the consequences of adultery. It is a movie being marketed to people who have an hour or two to watch a fictional story.

As a Catholic, I realize that movies like this were regarded, at the time by Catholics, as Oh, that’s not so bad. But then Hollywood added a little more skin, a few more graphic scenes, and we were all gradually poisoned, mentally and spiritually. The memories of the older movies and our desire to trust Hollywood distorted what was actually happening.

There was a Catholic Legion of Decency that ran from 1934 to 1973. The Catholic Church was in a dialogue with Hollywood. The Church said, Look, we know motion pictures can have a profound impact on people for good or ill – please don’t abuse this new art form by showing degrading or morally ambiguous things.

The fact is: Hollywood is about money and Hollywood will “push the envelope,” constantly adjusting its so-called ratings so that what was rated R ten years ago is PG 13 today. Are you listening, my fellow Catholics? They want you to be so desensitized to sex and immoral portrayals that you’ll spend hours watching it. It can and does affect people.

What if someone told you that they wanted you to sit in a room and spend 2 hours watching a young, attractive fornicating young couple in a movie? Think about the last few Jennifer Aniston movies you watched. Adultery and/or fornication. Don’t meditate on this.

The current group of Bishops that rate movies are too lax and inconsistent. Do the right thing and avoid movies like this.


No, I don’t consider it pornographic. Firstly, they didn’t show any graphic images of anything. It was implied that Ben and Mrs. Robinson went to bed together, but they didn’t show actual action or nudity except for that brief flash. So my verdict is: suggestive, yes. pornographic, no.


it is one of many movies, considered ground breaking in their time, and classics by film buffs, that I enjoyed when they first came out, and simply found them entertaining. now when I watch them I simply cannot stomach their message, and find the comedy to be forced, at best wry, at worst, depressing. Besides the Graduate I include Funny Girl, Victor Victoria, among others in that category, those hailed for “attacking stereotypes”.

Jeanne 71350
In response to your post,I do not think it is so much the question of the inclusion of nudity in the movie. I think you will agree that we can enjoy, for example looking at the David by Michelangelo and admire the skill of the artist and the beauty of the bodies God created.
As far as I am concerned nudity in an adult film is fine if it is presented within a
morally acceptable content.
This was not the case, in my view.

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