THIS JUST IN: Thirty-seven years later, Dustin Hoffman will return to La Verne today for a reprise of ´The Graduate,´ this time for a car commercial.
In the 1967 classic, Hoffman sprints up D Street to pound on the enormous window of the United Methodist Church, interrupting the wedding of Katharine Ross, who -- am I spoiling the movie for anyone? -- flees the church to run off with him in the only vehicle handy, a yellow school bus.
This time, in a commercial filmed by director Michael Bay, an Audi A6 will speed through twists and turns on scenic country roads to pull up at the church. The driver will exit, rush into the church, climb the stairs and bang on that famous window to interrupt the wedding.
Both driver and bride will rush out and hop into the car, whereupon we finally see her rescuer´s face: Hoffman, the bride´s father.
´You are just like your mother,´ he´ll say as they roar off.
So how did Audi persuade the actor to help turn a classic movie into a car commercial? I have two theories.
Either Dustin Hoffman needs the money.
Or Audi hired Mrs. Robinson to seduce him.
IT´S NOT the first ´Graduate´ spoof to be filmed at the church. Homages appeared in the 1993 movie ´Wayne´s World 2´ and in 2001´s ´Bubble Boy.´
For the Audi commercial, one element of the sanctuary has been restored to its original ´Graduate´ appearance. Orange batik wall hangings that had been covered in white for several years are again revealed.
The Rev. Anita Valles, the pastor since 2001, likes the orange.
The sanctuary ´was very white and sterile. When they took those (covers) off, it brought the church back to life,´ Valles said.
On the other hand, longtime church members told her the original color caused its own problems.
´With the orange,´ Valles reported, ´it´s hard to decorate for Christmas.´
* Hoffman´s role was originally offered to Burt Ward, TV´s Robin, who had to turn it down because of ´Batman.´ Holy missed opportunity!
* Hoffman´s stance when he slaps on the window with his arms extended wasn´t meant as a Christ-like image. According to the Web site, it was a compromise with the minister. After witnessing the more energetic rehearsal, he was ready to throw the filmmakers out for fear the fragile window, a gift to the church, would break under Hoffman´s fists.
Nor Simon or Garfunkel are invited...therefore we hear a cover of Mrs Robinson played by the Lemonheads.......