Having suffered significant financial losses because of unwise investments the mid-1960s, Levine completely overhauled his production strategy later that decade and decided to increase production values but make fewer films. This chapter focuses on The Graduate and Levine’s early relationship with its director, Mike Nichols. Film historians routinely belittle or ignore Levine’s involvement with The Graduate and fail to recognize that he had been an early champion of Nichols when he was a director in the legitimate theater. However, Levine often claimed undue credit for the production of The Graduate, often at the expense of Lawrence Turman, who was the driving force behind the film. This chapter puts the production of this film into its proper context, highlighting both Levine’s keen eye for talent and his habit of stealing credit.
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