Who's Your Mommy? Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). In "The Graduate," Bancroft plays the famous
seductress, the family friend who lures young, shiftless Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) -- the bewildered college grad seeking
something past his WASP-y parents' ... more expectations -- into her bed. Mrs. Robinson's
come-on initially scares the khakis off Benjamin (not literally ... well, not at
first, anyway). However, he's eventually game when the gorgeous, coolly
seductive but deeply unhappy woman in her chic, leopard-print getups and
round-the-clock scotch ("Did you know I was an alcoholic?" she asks sternly) is
there for his, uh, enjoyment. But when Benjamin falls for her sweet, lovely
daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross), the enraged mother is bent on revenge.
Meanest Moment: When Elaine reveals to Benjamin that Mrs.
Robinson lied, claiming she never seduced Benjamin, but that he raped her. When
Mr. Robinson drops by Benjamin's, uttering, "I think you are scum," we really
feel how much damage Mrs. Robinson has caused not just Benjamin, but also his
family and the Robinsons. Nice job!
Memorable Quote: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce
me." -- Benjamin's surprised and slightly titillated response to Mrs. Robinson's
bizarre advances. Bonus point: Mrs. Robinson's luscious legs framing Ben.
Maternal Comeuppance? Hard to say. Sure, Benjamin
successfully breaks up Elaine's wedding to the parent-approved college boy (the
sequence hilariously culminates with Benjamin locking the church door with a
large cross). But the film's last, famous scene leaves a bitter taste: The
lovebirds' giddy laughter and relief turn to pensive, disheartened looks
revealing a bumpy road ahead and, most likely, lasting scars left by the
parental units. Hello, darkness my old friend, indeed ... (Everett