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Mike Nichols reminisces about 'The Graduate' in HBO documentary

By Marilyn Malara   |   Feb. 23, 2016 at 1:21 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Late director Mike Nichols can be seen discussing his early career and successes in the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols.

The Douglas McGrath-helmed documentary, filmed shortly before the Graduate director's death in 2014, was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO Monday.

In it, director Jack O'Brien interviews Nichols -- the German-born director behind Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Catch 22 and Carnal Knowledge -- both in front of an audience and not at New York's Golden Theatre.

The two discuss his early career improvising alongside longtime friend Elaine May -- whom he first befriended by slipping into character during a skit -- as well as how he fell into film directing.

The documentary also spends a significant amount of time covering the success of Nichols' self-proclaimed best film, The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman. A restored 4K Blu-ray edition of the film will be available for purchase Tuesday.

"I think Mike felt that the best work he did was in his early career," McGrath said during the film. "[It wasn't that] he felt the work he did after that wasn't good, but he was most excited to talk about the early work."

Nichols is among the 12 people in the industry who have successfully won all four of the major entertainment awards. He has received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award for his work.

Nichols died of a heart attack in New York on Nov. 19, 2014.

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