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‘The Graduate’ heads up 1967’s stellar film class

Dustin Hoffman looks over the stockinged leg of

Dustin Hoffman looks over the stockinged leg of Anne Bancroft in a famous scene from the 1967 film "The Graduate," which won an Oscar for its director, Mike Nichols. Credit: MGM

And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, and 1967.

“The Graduate,” the Mike Nichols classic that had Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson seducing Dustin Hoffman — and moviegoers as well — heads back to theaters this week for a 50th anniversary screening as part of TCM’s Big Screen Classics series.

The movie, which is being shown April 23 and April 26 at Westbury 12, Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, Stony Brook 17 and Island Cinema de Lux in Holtsville (visit for show times and tickets), is just one of many that made 1967 such a watershed year for motion pictures. If 1939 is credited as Hollywood’s greatest year, 1967 may be its most revolutionary as Hollywood broke down numerous barriers in the way sex, racism, violence and other controversial matters were treated on the screen.

Here are five landmark movies from that groundbreaking year.

THE GRADUATE Not only was Mrs. Robinson the screen’s original cougar, but the movie one-upped the sexual stakes by creating a triangle that also had Hoffman’s Benjamin falling for Robinson’s daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross). One can only imagine how the movie would have played out if one of the other actresses considered for Mrs. Robinson — including Doris Day, Judy Garland and Patricia Neal — had accepted.

BONNIE AND CLYDE Arthur Penn’s saga of the infamous Depression-era bank robbers (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway) took screen violence to a whole new level, particularly with its bloody final shootout. The film’s success paved the way for more graphic films like “The Wild Bunch” (1969).

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Though racism had been tackled in earlier films such as “No Way Out” (1950) and “The Defiant Ones” (1958), Norman Jewison’s Oscar-winning drama tackled the subject in a nitty-gritty manner set against the framework of a murder in the deep South.

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER If ever a movie exemplified the transition from old Hollywood to modern cinema, it’s this film about how an upper-middle-class couple (movie vets Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) deal with their daughter’s (Katharine Houghton, Hepburn’s niece) engagement to a black man (Sidney Poitier).

IN COLD BLOOD Truman Capote’s book about the grisly slaughter of a Kansas family was unusual for its stark depiction of the murders as well as its tense execution scenes of the killers played by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson.

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