Punctuating the drama is the way the characters are put together: Mrs. Robinson’s subtly sexy dresses (reminiscent of lacy lingerie), her on-the-prowl animal-print patterns, and her signature panty hose are set up brilliantly against Elaine’s fresh-faced, A-line shift-dress–sporting sixties co-ed.
After the movie’s surprise ending, one is shocked and mesmerized not only by the poetic outcome, but by the careful, considered way it’s portrayed. This exacting direction applies to the film overall: Everything from Mrs. Robinson’s tan lines to the tumblers in which she serves bourbon were chosen for their stylistic implications; nothing is haphazard, and for that, we give The Graduate the credit it is due. Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.
- Alexandra Macon for Vogue