Dateline 1967: Dustin Hoffman In The Graduate

Welcome to the first post kicking off Ivy Style’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the year 1967, which brought about the fall of the heyday of the Ivy League Look. Pictured is Dustin Hoffman in what is presumably a publicity shot for “The Graduate.”

Released in 1967 near Christmas and partially set at Berkeley, epicenter of the Free Speech Movement, the film juxtaposes Hoffman’s character with his romantic rival: a handsome, pipe-smoking fraternity jock who represents all the old traditions.

Five years later, that guy may have gone on to grow a mustache and wear turtlenecks under sportcoats, but Hoffman’s character gives off the sense that he would quickly be jumping the Ivy ship and swimming to a hippie commune, with or without Elaine. — CC

21 Comments on "Dateline 1967: Dustin Hoffman In The Graduate"

  1. In early 1978, when I moved to New York to work, a friend introduced me to tiny bar on East 85th Street, next to the Post Office. I lived only a few blocks away and it became my hangout. It had no name but everyone called it Pedro’s. It was Ivy Look Central, all OCBDs, Lacoste polos, khakis, Weejuns, short back and sides. The Ivy Look may have fallen, beginning in 1967, true–but not completely. At Pedro’s, it was as if the ’60s had never happened. How was this possible?

  2. @T. Bearden,

    This source states that Pedro’s was frequented by Southerners, which might very well explain why the Ivy Look was still alive there in 1978:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/311766-pedros-on-85th-street-in-new-york.html

    Two quotes:

    “Pedro’s was a great bar in the 80s. It was the late night choice of most of the southern kids in Manhattan. Pennants from each school throughout the south hung on the wall and if you were a alum of a particular school, you’d write your name and phone number on the pennant.”

    “Spent many an hr in Pedro’s. it was a hangout for displaced Southerners”.

  3. English Nick | February 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm |

    When I lived in NYC in 1996 – 2000 my flat was half a block away from that same great bar — there was still plenty of 4th (?) generation Ivy there even then. Plus all the usual mish-mash of Wall Street to flip-flop NYC attire — with a good dose of weekend bridge and tunnelers too.

  4. After reading this post I have begun fantasizing about how aesthetically unsightly a film one could make of The Graduate: Ten Years After.

    Ben would indeed sport a mustache as well as long sideburns, wear flowered shirts, bell-bottom trousers, wide belts and possibly even a pair of platform shoes or Kalso Earth Shoes. In at least one scene, he would be wearing a powder blue leisure suit. If he was seen in a conventional suit, it might possibly be brown.

    Elaine would wear oversize plastic-framed eyeglasses with temples that dipped down and attached to the frame at the bottom. Her beautiful long locks would be superseded by a Disco Wedge cut.

    Mr. Robinson’s sleek, understated Lincoln Continental would be replaced by a Lincoln Mark V Givenchy Edition with vinyl roof and opera windows.

    Ben and Elaine’s apartment would feature plants suspended by macramé hangers from the ceiling, and the carpet would be brown, green, antique gold or burnt-orange. Kitchen accessories and at least one piece of furniture would feature a colorful overscale floral motif.

    Ben’s parents home would be redone in upper class 1970s contemporary: everything in various shaded of beige and lots of nubby textures.

    Excuse me; I think I am going to be sick now…

  5. Hilariously detailed!

  6. I had the pleasure of viewing The Graduate during its first run at a small neighborhood cinema in Monterey, CA in February 1968.

    Fun fact: Anne Bancroft – playing Mrs. Robinson and supposedly old enough to be 21-year old Benjamin Braddock’s mother -was actually less than six years older than Dustin Hoffman, who was, himself, 30 years old at the time.

  7. Many, many thanks, Old School, for finding that Pedro’s thread. Ah, such memories! I do remember college pennants hanging everywhere and a bowling machine somehow crammed in the place. I do recall a Southern element but I also remember talking to guys from Dartmouth, Columbia, Fordham and other Northeastern schools. I would say most of the patrons were in their 20s. One of the two bartenders was a graying Hispanic man–I think he was called Teddy. They also served Weiss beer (the area around 86th Street east of Lex was an old German neighborhood), which came in a ridiculously tall glass. I seem to recall that at midnight one of the bartenders would ring a bell and proclaim “four hours ’til last call.” I don’t think that was quite accurate, though. I remember stumbling out of there early one morning and it was getting light; it must have been well past 4 a.m.

  8. I seem to remember a Pedro’s being mentioned frequently in “The Official Preppy Handbook” in the chapter about adult life and city living. Is this the same bar?

  9. @ RWK…Yes, Pedro’s was mentioned in a listing of NYC waterholes in the OP Handbook, along with other Upper East Side places like Swell’s and the Sugar Mill. The OPH certainly had good sources. Before the OPH was published (around 1980 I think), I don’t remember the term “preppy” being used much, if at all.

  10. Henry Contestwinner | February 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm |

    Excellent work, Mr. Kraus! I would add only one thing: avocado green. Perhaps the kitchen cabinets would be painted avocado green. They would coordinate nicely with the orange Formica counters and the brown earthenware dishes.

  11. Henry:

    Good point! I was tempted to mention the ubiquitous avocado green, but it actually first became popular in the late 1960s. The appliance color for example debuted in 1966.

    I have recently been watching Season One (1967-1968) of Mannix on YouTube (in which Joe wears many an OCBD and even an occasion button-down collar polo shirt) and have noticed that seemingly every single on-set telephone is green! Houses, offices; all but payphones.

  12. Carmelo Pugliatti | February 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm |

    Orson Welles about Dustin Hoffman:”No ethnic dwarfs”.

  13. Ahhh Berkeley. Problem is much of the campus filming was done at USC.

  14. The film, “The Graduate” was based in a 1963 book of the same name written by Charles Webb.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Webb_(author)

  15. Mr. Kraus, Charles Webb, the author of The Graduate, produced a sequel to the novel set in the 1970’s. I haven’t read it but I wonder if contains any details of their clothing. One fun fact I gleaned from the novel’s description is that Ben and Elaine move to Westchester, NY and Mrs. Robinson follows them. Westchester is also where Anne Bancroft is buried, it’s an interesting coincidence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_School_(novel)

  16. Rick Woodward | February 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm |

    I used to frequent Pedro’s in the late 70s and early 80s. I lived at 83rd and 1st. I remember Stingers as the signature drink, and we would order them by the pitcher. Oh, my aching head. They also had Spaten on tap served with a lemon slice. This Southern boy had never see such a thing but I have to admit, it was pretty good.

    All that said, I believe that my favorite things about Pedro’s, however, was the roving photographer, Hans Schoenlink. I am not quite sure about the spelling of his name but I’m close. As I recall, he would show up at Pedro’s around 11:00. He always wore a dark, probably black, suit, white shirt and black bow tie. He was probably in his late 70s to mid 80s. He never seemed to much care whether one bought a picture or not. He was generally fairly ornery. And he never seemed eager to kid around but one could occasionally get a laugh out of him. When I would get a picture made, I always bought two: one for me and one for my mother back in Atlanta. Mom loved getting these photos because it let her know I was thinking of her no matter what I was doing. I found all the pics I had sent her a few years after she died. My real coup, however, was getting my picture made with Hans. I had to beg, cajole and harass him for a year and a half before he would relent and let some one take a shot of us. The pictures that my mom saved, including the one with Hans, are still around here somewhere but I can’t put my hands on the right now. My thanks to T. for bringing back some wonderful memories.

  17. Right before Dustin made it big in The Graduate, he filmed this commercial for the 1967 VW Fastback, dressed very much like Benjamin Braddock: https://youtu.be/lGdf9ea2olQ

  18. @Christian

    I think you should get that Helpinham thing for this.

  19. @James Kraus

    The VW Fastback was truly a wonderful car. My parents had one in orange with a black racing strip along the bottom of the doors with, if I remember correctly “Formula Vee” in slanted letters. Pair it with real magnesium rims (most local shops would not change tires as they didn’t want to be responsible for bending the rims) and we had what my father called his poor man’s Porsche. Thanks for the memories.

  20. Henry Contestwinner | February 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm |

    Speaking of noticing green on sets, I observed that Captain Janeway’s ready room on Voyager had lots of green in it. It’s kind of a dull jade green or dark celadon green, just a bit darker than the green of Fire-King glassware. The shade was reminiscent of what was popular during the Art Deco period.

  21. Roycru,

    The novel by Webb was his way of rebelling against his upbringing. The character of Benjamin was somewhat autobiographical, save for the dalliances and the part with the Robinson family. Line Benjamin, Webb went to college on the east coast (Williams) and returned home to California. And rebel he did. He completely turned his back on his privileged upbringing, essentially living off the grid and working in menial jobs (dishwasher).

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