Monday, August 21, 2017


SCENE SPOILER ALERT! It's an iconic scene. The disheveled somewhat loony young Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) stands in the balcony of the church screaming the name of his girlfriend Elaine (Katharine Ross) who has just finished getting married to another man (Brian Avery). It's the kind of thing that definitely gets one's attention.

Elaine's father (Murray Hamilton) is angry, whereas her mother, the sadly lecherous Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is filled with glee, believing she has foiled Ben's ability to end up with her daughter.

And then Elaine erupts with her scream for Ben, as she realizes she must be with him. Nothing but mayhem follows, as Benjamin shoves aside Elaine's father...

tears Elaine away from the clutches of her mother. NOTE: In one of the worst looping jobs in film history, Katharine Ross' line of "Not for me!" doesn't even begin to match the look on her face.

Benjamin fends off the churchgoers with a cross...

putting it through the door handles to effectively keep them from following him and Elaine as they grab a bus to what we all hope is eternal bliss.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I finally took a road trip to see the Modernist building in person.

The United Methodist Church that was used in the 1967 film "The Graduate" is located in La Verne, California.

Just 30 miles east of Los Angeles, this sleepy little town was definitely worth the trip. The church looks very much like it did when Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross filmed the movie there 50 years ago.

The lobby where the wedding guests were trapped:

The stairwell up to the balcony:

And the interior itself:

TIME magazine listed this church as one of the top 10 iconic movie locations back in 2010. I would have to agree.

More LA and surrounding area photos at my main website.

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Matthew said...

Never saw "The Graduate" but your post kept me riveted to my seat. I wasn't sure where this story was going... and the way you started it... you jumped right in as if I had seen the 15 minutes before and had context for your story. WOW! I'm sure to other Daveland readers it all made sense... but for me. It was a great read! Well done. Oh yeah... and beautiful photos too.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Daveland said...

WHAT?!? You never saw "The Graduate"? Get on Netflix right now, Matt!

K. Martinez said...

"The Graduate" is one of my favorite films from the 1960's. There was so much about that film that I loved. So many great scenes. Nice job capturing the church and how it relates to the film. Think it's time for another viewing. Thanks, Dave.

Matthew said...

I know, right!!! I will Netflix as soon as possible. Doing it now at work may not be appropriate. ;-)

Always you pal,
Amazon Belle

Mark H. Besotted said...

Great! Hard to believe how untouched the church seems.

Thanks, Dave. This made my day.

Anonymous said...

Been a while since you posted Dave. Hope all is well. KS