The Graduate was the highest grossing film of 1967, earning $104.9 million. The Mike Nichols movie stars Dustin Hoffman as a 21-year-old who has an affair with the much older Anne Bancroft, before eventually falling for her daughter. The film soundtrack, that frequently gets mentioned in soundtrack best of lists, is nearly evenly split between Simon & Garfunkel songs and jazzy, orchestral numbers by soundtrack maestro Dave Grusin.
The album is bookended by two different versions of “The Sound of Silence” from the duo’s first album that was later remixed to become a #1 hit. Other S&G tracks include an extended version of “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”, “April Come She Will” and an alternate version of “The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine”. The movie’s main song is the first appearance of “Mrs. Robinson” that Simon had been working on but initially known as “Mrs. Roosevelt”. The eventual #1 hit appears here twice but not in its full version. Because of the movie, the song has become synonymous with the allure of older women.
While it’s Simon and Garfunkel’s name that is splashed across the record, Dave Grusin contributes six tracks that would appeal to the older generation. They are fun, upbeat numbers that have a dash of novelty and 60’s slapstick to them. The album vacillates between the hushed, folk rock of Simon & Garfunkel before the Grusin instrumentals come crashing in to up the pace. It’s an odd mix, one that appealed to both teenagers and adults at the time and sent the album soaring to #1. Today, it makes for an interesting curiosity that should really only appeal to completists and soundtrack buffs.