The Graduate turns 40. Terry interviews Dustin Hoffman, director Mike Nichols, Buck Henry, and Anne Bancroft.
Like so many other students, Benjamin Braddock can often be found in the library. He’s been there since 1963, in the Fiction section, filed under ‘W.’ That year, Charles Webb published the novel that Hollywood producer Lawrence Turman would read about in The New York Times. Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.
But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family. Turman says the role of Mrs. Robinson was initially offered to Doris Day. The filmmakers also considered Robert Redford and Candice Bergen to play Benjamin and Elaine.
Nichols had worked with Redford on Broadway and was keen on him at first, but Turman disagreed. “I was resistant because his qualities weren’t quite right for The Graduate,” he says. “The Graduate only works if it’s a 21-year-old going on 16, who’s sexually insecure. Well, Redford is this… classic sexual matinee idol. So we did a test with Redford and I don’t think the test was one-third of the way in when Mike, who had wanted him, turned to me and said ‘Turman, you S.O.B., you’re right.'” MORE
A rebroadcast of our interview with JEFFREY TOOBIN. We talked to him about his latest book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. It offers a behind the scenes look at the Supreme Court, the personalities of and relationships between the Justices, and their most controversial decisions. Marty spoke with him last month at The Free Library of Philadelphia.
A rebroadcast of our interview with JUNOT DIAZ. He is author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It is the story of the relationship of Oscar de Leon, a New Jersey high school senior of Dominican extraction, and Ana, a girl he meets in an S.A.T. prep class. Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. His collection of short stories, “Drown,” earned him a PEN/Malamud Award.
THE WORLD CAFE
Host David Dye welcomes indie-pop veterans Spoon to the World Cafe. With three acclaimed releases in just the last five years, Spoon is one of those rare bands that seems to get better with age. Their new record, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, presents an intricate yet stripped-down sound that pulls no punches, and frontman Britt Daniels drives their quirky pop edge with his vintage rock ‘n’ roll voice. The catchy horn-laced track “The Underdog” has quickly become a Cafe favorite.
BOB DYLAN: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Look for Dan Buskirk‘s review of I’m Not There later today…