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Why it's so important: When "The Graduate" was released, it broke all kinds of records. It earned more than $35 million in the first few months, making it one of the highest-grossing films at the time. Today, the movie is known as a "groundbreaking American classic," according to Hulu. It seems the tale of a disillusioned and romantically confused Ben Braddock struck a chord with the boomer generation and has left a lasting impact on viewers in later generations, too.
Why it's so important: At the time, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that the space movie was "a majestic visual experience, quite unlike any film we have ever seen." The unique film made boomers think about humanity as a whole and question where we all come from. Not to mention, the film set up the stage for the onslaught of space movies that would come in the next decades.
Why it's so important: "Dirty Harry" marked a change in Hollywood that mirrored a shift in America. Throughout the '60s, baby boomers were interested in freedom and anti-establishment ideals, but that began to change in the '70s. People were less interested in lawless societies and instead "wanted to see more law and order." This movie provided the generation just that and became a model for future police detective movies to come. "Dirty Harry" also launched the career of Clint Eastwood.
Why it's so important: "A Clockwork Orange" is often remembered for its most violent scenes that often seem unsettling and jarring. But it all had a purpose. "While copycat movies would show violence and vulgarity all purely for shock's sake, here it's neither glorified nor romanticized," NME, an entertainment news site, writes. "It creates a totally Kubrickian diagnosis of society's ever more prevalent shared disorder. Only goodness through free will can prevail, and it must. It's just up to everyone to figure it out for themselves."
Why it's so important: For many baby boomers, this is more than just a film. The "Star Wars" franchise has seeped into the American fabric, launching "Star Wars"-themed products and even theme parks. When it was released, young people couldn't get enough, so it became a trilogy, which then became an entire franchise that is still releasing TV shows and movies.
In the lush countryside of 1950s Michigan, young Martin Dijksterhuis has everything he could ever want, living among his extended family and working in his family's orchard fields. Despite his mother's plans for him to attend college in Chicago, he has no desire to leave home. One autumn, in a camp of migrant farm workers, Martin discovers a music that touches him like nothing before -- the unsettling melodies and timeless words of the country blues. He also falls in love with Corinna, the daughter of the black foreman who runs the orchards. He ends up fathering her child, only to lose her in a stunning betrayal. Martin's music and his love for Corinna are the two themes of his life. His struggle to combine them in a single story takes him far from home and the life he had always envisioned for himself, only to bring him back again in a way he could never have imagined. In this beautifully rendered novel, Robert Hellenga explores the fragility of happiness, the struggle to discover one's true calling in life, and the sorrows and satisfactions of family. 2b1af7f3a8