Tragically, earlier this week, famed director Mike Nichols passed at the age of 83. Born in Berlin in 1931, Nichols left Germany with his family to go to America to escape the Third Reich. In the 50s and early 60s, Nichols gained great fame as a theater director, but became an international star when he entered the film scene. In 1966, Nichols’ directed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which became a critical and box office hit. Nichols’ latest picture, 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War, a blazing satire of Congressman Charlie Wilson’s role in Operation Cyclone, showed that the director hadn’t lost his comic touch. So today, I thought I’d ask what’s your favorite Mike Nichols picture?
For me (and I’m guessing for most people) it would be The Graduate, a picture that helped launch the Golden Age of American Cinema that lasted from the late 60s through the 70s and made Dustin Hoffman a star. In just about any intro to film course, you’re likely to be shown the famous montage scene set to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” After almost five decades, The Graduate hasn’t lost any of its importance and still remains one of the most influential American pictures of the 60s.
But what about you?