Mike Nichol’s film The Graduate, which turned 50 last December, has almost totemic status in the plastics industry thanks to that memorable exchange between Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) and Mr. McGuire (Walter Brooke) out by the pool. To wit:
I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Are you listening?
Yes, I am.
Exactly how do you mean?
There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Yes, I will.
Enough said. That's a deal.
The dialogue was written with an intent to mock, but it turned out to be seriously sage advice. In fact, as noted on the IMDb website, “within a year of the movie's release, plastic manufacturing companies became enormously successful. Many people attribute this to Walter Brooke's quote about "plastics.” Brooke himself once told his nephew that he would have invested in plastics, if he had known that the remark would lead to such success.
That might be a stretch—I'm pretty sure the plastics industry would have soared regardless—but it makes for a good anecdote. Here is some more trivia about the half-century-old movie that you might not know for this Throwback Thursday.
Next: Will the real Ben Braddock please stand up?