Where was The Graduate filmed?
San Francisco, Los Angeles (USA)
Mansions, Clubs/Bars, Hotels/Motels, Film Studios
Bohemian, Building Dated/Retro, Dated/50's-60's-70's, Mediterranean, Classic Car
About The Graduate
Mike Nichols' The Graduate has become a classic symbol of the '60s counterculture, captivating audiences with its hilarious yet poignant story delivered through the stellar performances of Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross. The thought-provoking comedy-drama was released to critical acclaim in 1967 and has since earned $104.9 million at the North American box office.
The film's phrase "just one word: plastic" and the witty retort of "are you here for an affair?" became ingrained in our culture. The plot follows Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate from a wealthy middle-class family struggling to find his place in life. Upon returning home from college, he is confronted with expectations from his parents on what he should do with himself after graduation.
He floats with no ambition or drive until an affair with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) pushes him toward Elaine Robinson (Katharine Ross) - Mrs. Robinson's daughter. As Ben falls for Elaine, he has to confront the reality of his situation and make some difficult choices about what it means to become an adult to realize his full potential.
The Graduate garnered numerous accolades, including an Oscar for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Supporting Actress. The National Film Registry recognized its lasting impression, deeming it culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant enough to be preserved for many generations.
The Graduate Locations
The Graduate was filmed in some of the most spectacular locations along the California coast. Beverly Hills, Calabasas, La Verne, Los Angeles, and Berkeley served as the primary filming locations.
The backdrop of these regions adds an extra layer of charm to the production. Starting in San Francisco, its buzzing atmosphere packed with iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf came alive on the screen.
Berkley, home to the prestigious University of California, set the scene for the college atmosphere. Santa Barbara, with its perfect beaches and beautiful architecture reminiscent of a Mediterranean island, draws out the wanderlust in the best of us. Los Angeles provided an array of contrasting locations from bustling cityscapes to peaceful suburbs in Bel Air.
A tour of the filming locations of The Graduate would be a worthwhile endeavor for any fan or movie buff. From famous sites, like the beach where Benjamin stands alone looking out into the sea or Mrs. Robinson’s house, stepping into these settings will give you an insight into what went on behind the scenes during filming.
Many of the sites featured in the film have remained untouched since 1967, so you can use your imagination to transport yourself back in time while catching glimpses of modern-day life. Other experiences related to The Graduate also await you, including visiting the hotel used for filming at La Valencia in San Diego or even taking part in themed tours around some of LA’s hotspots featured throughout this classic film.
Mrs. Robinson’s house scenes in The Graduate
607 N Palm Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
Mrs. Robinson’s house scenes in The Graduate were filmed at a Palm Drive residence in Beverly Hills, California. It was where one of the memorable scenes between Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin took place; Benjamin escorted her inside the house since it was still dark outside.
Benjamin is highly awkward as Mrs. Robinson tries to lure him with enticements.
The exquisite house looks quite different from how it appears in the movie, as the white color on its walls has disappeared. It should be mentioned that this property is owned privately, so please respect their privacy and that of other people living on the street.
If you're driving from downtown LA, take Santa Monica Fwy until La Cienega Blvd or S Robertson Blvd, then make a left onto Beverly Blvd. You can also get there via public transportation by taking one bus, 4 or 20, and getting off at Santa Monica / Palm stop, which will leave you just a few minutes away from 607 N Palm Dr. Beverly Hills.
First meeting with Mrs. Robinson scene in The Graduate
Ambassador Hotel, 3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90010, USA
The scene when Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin first meet takes place in the bar of the Taft hotel, a landmark venue and former hotel in Los Angeles. The bar is a dimly lit, sophisticated space with plush seating and a period ambiance.
Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson sit at a small table along one wall, sipping drinks as they discuss their first-time affair. Known for its storied past, Nichols chose The Ambassador Hotel as a stand-in for the Taft Hotel in the movie.
Opened on New Year's Day, 1921, the establishment quickly became a premiere destination for Hollywood's elite, hosting celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Barbra Streisand, and John Wayne throughout its lifetime. Unfortunately, it closed its doors in 1989 after being marred by tragedy, following the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
The property has since been purchased for redevelopment, and all that remains today is one of the original entrance gates from the hotel leading into what is now called “The Robert F Kennedy Community Schools.”
If taking public transportation from downtown LA, start your journey at 5th Street/ Hill and board the 20 bus towards Wilshire. Get off at Wilshire / Alexandria, and in 1 minute on your right side, you will reach your destination – 3400 Wilshire Blvd.
Ben stalks Elaine at the fountain scene in The Graduate
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, California, USA
The scene in the movie takes place at the Doheny Memorial Library fountain, where Benjamin anxiously waits for Elaine (Katharine Ross) to arrive. Venturing far from home, he longed to explain everything. He anxiously scans the horizon for a sign of her presence, eager for their encounter.
The sun is shining on him as he stands by the fountain, surrounded by flowers and trees. Students pass by, but Benjamin pays no attention to them as he anxiously awaits his love.
The scene was shot at the University of Southern California's main campus in Los Angeles. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California and one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. The Doheny Memorial Library fountain is a popular meeting spot for students and faculty alike.
Embark on your journey to USC's main campus and the Doheny Memorial Library Fountain by getting onto CA-110/Harbor Fwy in Downtown LA. Follow I-110 S until you reach W Exposition Blvd, then take exit 20B from I-110 S. Make a right turn at W Exposition Blvd, followed by a left onto W 36th St/Childs Way - these turns will lead you directly to where you need to go!
Ben follows Elaine to the zoo scene in The Graduate
Sloat Blvd &, Upper Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
One of The Graduate’s best scenes takes place at the San Francisco Zoo, located on the city's south side, close to the Sunset district. As Benjamin follows Elaine to her meeting with her boyfriend Carl Smith (Brian Avery), they have an angry discussion, and then she introduces Ben to Carl.
This is a crucial moment for Ben as he feels desperate and cannot seem to start a relationship with Elaine. After that, Ben looks at the aviary with monkeys, and they start laughing at him - emphasizing his failure to keep Elaine away from her boyfriend.
The San Francisco Zoo was founded in 1929 and is open 365 days a year from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It houses over 1000 animals representing more than 250 species, including rare and endangered species such as giant pandas and Siberian tigers. Large aviaries for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals are spread throughout the park.
Suppose you're coming from downtown San Francisco, take Muni bus #18, or the BART towards Balboa Park Station, followed by a bus from Market St, which will take about 37 minutes if there are no delays.
Ben rushes to interrupt Elaine's wedding scene in The Graduate
Gaviota Tunnel (near Gaviota State Park), Goleta, California, USA
Benjamin races to stop Elaine and Carl’s wedding, but first, he has the task of finding out where they are getting married. After asking around, he discovers that the church in Santa Barbara is their chosen location.
The scene then cuts to a shot of Benjamin driving his car, recklessly but determinedly, towards the wedding venue through a tunnel — the Gaviota Tunnel in Goleta, California.
This tunnel is a narrow two-lane road with walls on both sides and an array of lights overhead leading up to it. As Benjamin zooms through the tunnel at top speed, we can see how desperate he is to reach his destination and stop Elaine from marrying Carl.
Located close to Gaviota State Park off Highway 101 near Goleta Beach in California, unfortunately, since it’s a winding mountain road, no public transportation services go directly there. Through private means, to get there from Santa Barbara, get on US-101 N until you reach exit 124A for Gaviota State Park heading westbound. Turn left onto Via Real and follow it until you reach the Gaviota Tunnel on your right-hand side — you can't miss it!
The final scene in The Graduate
United Methodist Church, 3205 D St, La Verne, California 91750, USA
The Graduate’s final scene sees Benjamin attempting to convince Elaine not to marry Carl. We see Benjamin on the glass wall at their wedding venue in a modernist church in La Verne, California. He comically manages to grab Elaine from the wedding, and they run away from the church and hop into a bus.
This United Methodist Church of La Verne, built in 1968, provided the backdrop for the scene. It features an impressive combination of modern design and stained glass windows, making it a sought-after venue for couples exchanging vows.
Located 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles at 3205 D Street, La Verne, public transportation options such as Metro buses and Metrolink trains can take you there with only one transfer point each way. If you are driving, the most time-efficient route is I-10. To avoid road closures on this path until exit 47 from CA-210, take Foothill Blvd/Historic Rte 66 E to reach your destination easily.
The Graduate is an exceptional American comedy that deserves its rightful place in the movie hall of fame. This character-driven tale offers a delightful mix of humor and social satire – guaranteed to bring hearty laughs!
The acting in this movie is superb. Hoffman perfectly embodies the awkwardness and confusion of Benjamin, never overdoing or underselling any line or scene. Without saying it out loud, he effortlessly conveys to the viewer what the character thinks.
Bancroft delivers a stellar performance as Mrs. Robinson, showcasing her character's complexity and strength while maintaining an underlying sense of vulnerability that makes her both captivating and sympathetic. The script is just as good as its actors; witty, sharp, and full of tension between characters that keeps viewers wanting more after each interaction.
The movie also carries some weighty themes like independence, identity crisis, and generational differences, all wrapped up in an entertaining package. By introducing new ideas, such as combining music with film to suggest time passing between scenes, The Graduate made waves in the film industry when it was released back in 1967.