What's at Stake in The Graduate

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What's at Stake in The Graduate Every time somebody rents a video or watches a movie on television there is always that little blurb right before they begin viewing about the picture being formatted for the screen. Usually, it is ignored or merely taken as a cue that the film is about to start. That little forewarning actually holds a lot of significance, for when one views a movie in its original, wide screen version, a whole new world opens up. When a movie is altered from its initial state, and cropped in the editing room for home viewing, an overwhelming amount of the film is unsuspectingly missed. This has become extremely obvious when viewing any movie, and in The Graduate a lot of innovative things are adjusted and lost. There are various shots edited, cut off, and many dynamic camera techniques lose their effect when The Graduate is transformed from the intended wide screen version to the formatted television edition. Edits are a very apparent change in The Graduate when one witnesses the wide screen version compared to the cropped format. For example, in one of the beginning scenes, when Mrs. Robinson is asking Ben for a ride home, she casually tosses his keys into the fish tank behind him. In the letter boxed edition, the viewer is able to see her deliberately throw the keys over Ben's shoulder and into the fish tank in one single shot, thereby watching Ben actually follow the arc of the keys' path, and their decent into the water. In the formatted version there is an edit, splitting the two characters into different shots. All the viewer sees is a medium shot of Mrs. Robinson throwing the key, then an immediate medium shot of Ben turning around and then all of a sudden the keys are floating in the tank. The viewer does not see the obvious attempt of the throw, the actual flight of the keys, nor Ben's reaction to it, therefore missing the important effect that reveals Mrs. Robinson's immediate control over Ben. Another example is in the scene at the Robinson's house, immediately following Mrs. Robinson's seduction as Ben is talking with Mr. Robinson. The two of them are talking in the foreground, when Mrs. Robinson is finally seen descending the stairs. In wide screen, Mrs. Robinson is shot walking in the distance right between Ben and Mr.

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