Can you ace your film classics knowledge with "The Graduate" quiz?


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

"The Graduate" was a 1967 hit film featuring characters who still speak to today's generations. Memorable for both its quirky story and cool soundtrack, the film is indeed a great product of pop culture whose message resonates with people coming of age in different ways. Challenge yourself and see if you can rise to the top with "The Graduate" pop quiz!

The music of this folk duo could be heard throughout the film’s soundtrack.

Simon and Garfunkel’s music was the film's major musical score, accompanied by instrumental scoring from time to time. It was rare for an existing song to be used as part of a score in those days, so yay for the folk duo!


The film’s opening sequence introduces us to the lead character riding in an airplane. Where is he headed?

The airport pilot is heard making an announcement that the plane will be landing at the Los Angeles airport soon. Everyone prepares — even our unprepared-in-life protagonist.


Aside from penning the titular song “Mrs. Robinson” for the film, this existing Simon and Garfunkel song was used by Nichols throughout the film.

The Sound of Silence hit the top of the music charts in 1965 and 1966. After The Graduate was released in 1967, the song garnered more popularity for the folk duo.


The new college graduate, the protagonist of the film, was played by then unknown actor Dustin Hoffman. What was his character’s name?

Fresh out of college, Ben was returning home to his folks in Pasadena, California. Of course, a return party was in order — but he wouldn’t have it.


While his proud parents wanted to showcase Ben around as the new college graduate via a party, Ben wanted to be left alone. Why is that?

The novel "The Graduate" was lifted from was written by a new college graduate who felt very uncertain about his future life. It’s very obvious in the film that Ben, the academic achiever that he is, still feels lost and directionless in the real world.


Aside from being an award-winning scholar, it was revealed that Ben was also this kind of sporty student.

His parents sure know how to be proud of their son. Everybody at the party knew that Ben was also a track star, aside from being a great scholar.


While trying to avoid other guests, mostly friends of his parents, Ben ran into this guest who gave him one important word. What word was that?

A quirky old man took Ben aside and said, "One word: plastics.” He says it’s the future, but Ben couldn’t care less about that.


When he’s in his room, Ben always stares at this thing.

Ben always seems to stare at his aquarium whenever he feels lost or uncertain. The fish tank is also a symbolism of how he feels -- like a fish being displayed for all to see.


What did Ben’s parents give him as a graduation gift?

Ben got a new car as a graduation gift from his very supportive parents. Yet he still feels disconnected. Is it the air during the ‘60s, or is it just him?


Ben meets up with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his dad’s law partner. Which classy actress played this memorable role?

Classy Anne Bancroft snagged the role that many Hollywood greats wanted. Yep, even Lauren Bacall and Audrey Hepburn wanted it. And now we know why.


When Mrs. Robinson asked Ben to drive her home, she invited him inside and offered him a drink. What was that drink?

The Robinsons’ house bar seems to be so well-stocked. Mrs. Robinson offered Ben a drink of bourbon, which the awkward grad accepted, well, awkwardly!


Aside from drinking a lot, Mrs. Robinson does this other vice a lot.

During the ‘60s, it was just sexy to see characters smoke cigarettes, especially women in a seductive role. The vice fit the part for Mrs. Robinson!


When Mrs. Robinson didn’t want Ben to go yet, he jumped to this awkward conclusion about the older woman’s real intention.

Ben’s classic line about this awkward realization marks "The Graduate" as unforgettable. Ben spills “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me,” even though that wasn’t very clear — yet.


In response to Ben’s awkward realization of being seduced, Mrs. Robinson countered his awkwardness with this forwardness.

Mrs. Robinson is obviously a take-charge kind of woman, in her own strangely subtle way. So she counters Ben’s awkward thought with another classic line from the film: "Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?” No wonder other film femmes wanted this role so badly! Great lines!


Of all the rooms where Mrs. Robinson makes a move to seduce Ben, she did it inside this particular room.

Since her daughter, Elaine, is still away at college at Berkeley, the young Robinson girl’s room is available for the older Robinson’s plan. Better prepare, Ben!


In what was then a quirky approach to nudity, Mike Nichols flashed a shot of this body part of Mrs. Robinson during her seduction scene with Ben.

A quick flash of Mrs. Robinson’s bare breasts was inserted in between shots of Mrs. Robinson talking and Ben trying not to look but looking anyway. Since it was still quite controversial to show long exposures of nudity, this repeated flashing trick worked.


When Mr. Robinson finally came home, Ben ran down the bar to avoid any seduction suspicion. What drink did Mr. Robinson offer him?

It turns out Mr. Robinson is a scotch guy. And he offers it to anyone, regardless of what they want to drink! Poor Ben.


The film also touched upon the real coming-of-age of Ben during a birthday event. How old was he turning on his birthday?

Ben is finally hitting the truly legal age of 21, when he should have at least an iota of what to do with his life. Let’s see if that happens...


It’s strange, but his dad orchestrated for Ben to wear this on the event of his 21st birthday celebration party.

It's not clear why Ben’s dad wanted him to wear a diver’s suit to his birthday party, but Ben is obviously aghast at the idea. So, of course, he dives in their pool and stays under water, for a while. We get you, dude!


Since the seduction offer still stood, Ben wanted to try it out. So he called Mrs. Robinson to come to this hotel.

The still awkward Ben has a funny way of making things happen. But Mrs. Robinson was just cool, calm and collected as she met him at the Taft Hotel.


With all his awkwardness, Mrs. Robinson assumed that Ben could be experiencing this...

Ben never admitted to being a virgin, but Mrs. Robinson assumed that it was the reason for all his awkwardness, especially in kissing and going to bed. That kiss while she smoked a cigarette, though, and puffed it out after he disengaged? Yep, red flag!


Since he spent his vacation days drifting around, both figuratively in life and literally in their pool, Ben’s father nagged him a bit about the young man’s application to this type of institution.

Since Ben is not sure of what to do with his life, his drifting led him to neglect his plan of enrolling in graduate school. He heard quite an earful from his father about that!


Continuing his trysts with Mrs. Robinson, Ben wanted to have a conversation before jumping in the sack, for a change. What tidbit did he learn about Mrs. Robinson’s married life during that exchange?

Ben got a deluge of information which he liked and didn’t like when he prompted Mrs. Robinson for a chat before sex. She confessed that she’s in an uninteresting relationship because she got knocked up during her art school days, and her life now is not as happy. OK, now go to bed, Ben!


Ben’s parents have been harping about it, and Mr. Robinson has also suggested it. But obviously, Mrs. Robinson was against it. What was this thing that they wanted Ben to do?

The idea of Ben dating her daughter, Elaine, made Mrs. Robinson upset. But it made Ben more upset, since he was being forced to do something he didn't feel like doing. We know how that feels, Ben.


Since Ben was coerced to date Elaine, he treated her rather shabbily at first and brought her to this kind of show.

The rather boorish Ben brings Elaine to a strip show. Of course she felt humiliated and insulted. But he somehow realized his error, and made up for it.


Since the only bar open late at night is at Taft Hotel, Elaine persuaded Ben to go there. Recognizing him from his trysts there with Mrs. Robinson, the staff greets him using this name.

Mr. Gladstone is Ben’s secret name whenever he signed for a room to see Mrs. Robinson. Of course, everyone called him that, seeing how often he was there. What were you thinking, dude!


When Elaine discovered that Ben had an affair with her mother, she left their house and went here instead, to be away from Ben.

Elaine wanted to be far away from Ben after finding out abut his tryst. While at Berkeley, she started dating another guy and went to classes, as usual.


Ruminating on what happened to him after the tryst revelation with Elaine, Ben finally decided to head to Berkeley to do this, without telling her.

Ben announced to his parents about his "brilliant" plan to marry Elaine. The dumb part of that plan would be, he decided without telling her! Yep, the parents were baffled alright.


When Elaine finally confronted Ben about his affair with her mother, she said that her mother claims Ben did this to her, instead of having a tryst.

Ben got ballistic when he heard Elaine accuse him of raping her mother. That’s Mrs. Robinson’s way of absolving herself of the tryst. Poor dude!


When Mr. Robinson finally learned of Ben and his wife’s affair, he told the young graduate that this is what he would do.

Mr. Robinson finally confronted Ben about the affair, and said that the result of that would be a divorce. He would also hate Ben for life. It figures.


To somehow solve some problems in the Robinson household, they pulled Elaine out of Berkeley to have her undergo this event with Karl Smith, the medical student she dated.

It’s unclear whether the Robinsons will actually get a divorce, but they orchestrated their daughter's marriage to another guy first. Yes, it’s kinda confusing, these people...


Ben frantically searched for Elaine at Berkeley and found out that she was about to get married in Santa Barbara. In which kind of institution did he get that crucial information?

Ben’s the smart scholar alright. He followed leads until they led him to Karl the medical student’s frat house, where his frat buddies told him he was getting hitched that day. Thanks, dudes!


When Ben finally reached Santa Barbara’s Presbyterian Church, he called on Elaine who was already at the altar. What did the two of them do?

Ben found a way to get Elaine’s attention on the altar, and she realized that she wanted to run away with Ben. So they did — to the dismay of the Robinsons and everyone in the church. Heaven forgive them!


After Ben and Elaine ran away from the church, they ended up doing this.

To escape the madding crowd, Ben and Elaine rode a bus that stopped in front of them. As they laughed triumphantly away from that chaotic wedding scene, their smiles faded as they looked ahead to their next destination — which was, yup, uncertain.


Acclaimed director Mike Nichols helmed this film, his second directorial effort in his illustrious career. His directorial debut was another classic, the film entitled "Who’s Afraid of ___?"

Nichols was an accomplished stage performer before becoming an award-winning stage director. Later, Hollywood beckoned, and world cinema is very grateful for his eclectic contributions as a film director, starting with his debut film "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf."


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