1968 Movie “The Graduate”—Generation Gap Or Ethnic Gap?

1968 Movie "The Graduate"—Generation Gap Or Ethnic Gap?

In Taki`s Magazine, I`m continuing my intermittent series reinterpreting well-known but not necessarily well-understood episodes in American history. Was the landmark movie The Graduate, which was a vast box office success in 1968, really about the Generation Gap? Or was it actually about the Ethnic Gap?

Director Mike Nichols likes to claim that he hadn’t realized what The Graduate was actually about until he saw it parodied in a juvenile humor magazine in October 1968: 

“It took me years before I got what I had been doing all along — that I had been turning Benjamin into a Jew. I didn’t get it until I saw this hilarious issue of MAD magazine after the movie came out, in which the caricature of Dustin [Hoffman] says to the caricature of Elizabeth Wilson, ‘Mom, how come I’m Jewish and you and Dad aren’t?’”

Read the whole thing there.