NPR’s Don Lee offers a fact-based analysis of the behind-the-scenes events and decisions that led to the creation of a movie that has become a cultural icon. Mike Nichols’ The Graduate was the top-grossing film of 1968, garnered seven Academy Award nominations, introduced “one of the most recognizable soundtracks in movie history,” and helped to launch the careers of Mike Nichols, Buck Henry, and Dustin Hoffman. Lee explores the differences between The Graduate, the film, and The Graduate, the book. Charles Webb published the novel in 1963, which producer Lawrence Turman read and decided to make into a movie. Turman, along with screenwriter Buck Henry and director Mike Nichols, remained extremely faithful to the novel, with the exception of two significant adaptations. First of all, Turman and Nichols decided to cast the Braddocks as dark-haired and more ethnic-looking, rather than as the WASP-y blonde characters from the novel. Secondly, in the film, Benjamin dramatically crashes Elaine’s wedding only to find that she has already exchanged vows and is officially married. This does not stop Elaine from running off with Benjamin after they lock her family and the rest of the guests in the church, showing their rejection of the restraints of traditional values. In the book, however, Benjamin arrives at the wedding before she has said her vows, and they run off together in a much less controversial and less shocking fashion. According to Lee, Nichols can be credited with this bold modification.The original novel obviously deals with the generation gap, but Henry’s screenplay combined with Nichols’ astute directing skills allow for a brutally honest depiction of the relationship between adults and their children, which resonated strongly in the social context of the late 1960s. The widening generation gap was reaching new levels as children were searching for additional ways to distance themselves from the control and influence of their parents. Lee includes a quote from Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex’n’Drugs’n’Rock’n’Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, which articulates the main theme of the film: “the adult world is artificial, is superficial, on some level immoral and irrelevant to the concerns of young people.” It is this theme in conjunction with Henry and Nichols’ ability to capture the essence of the generation gap that propelled this film to number seven on The American Film Institute’s list of the greatest films of the century.