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Knife in the Water (1962)

Nóz w wodzie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 28 October 1963 (USA)
On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Storyline

Well off Andrzej and Krystyna's marriage is at a stage where familiarity breeds contempt, that contempt which is outwardly shown only behind closed doors and only when an incident of some sort sets off one or the other. While driving through the countryside on a Sunday on their way to the lake to embark on an overnight sailing excursion, they almost run over a young male hitchhiker. Despite the antagonism between Andrzej and the hitchhiker, Andrzej offers him a ride as far as the marina. By the time they reach the lake, their antagonism has dissipated enough that Andrzej asks if he would like to join them on their sailing trip. The hitchhiker accepts despite knowing nothing about sailing. As the sailing trip progresses, the antagonism between the two men begins to increase again, fueled on both sides as each strives to be the alpha male. Andrzej needs to show his superiority, while the hitchhiker needs to show that his young age and inexperience, not only with sailing but with life in... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knife in the Water  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Forms part of a loose trilogy of films based around a psychological ménage-à-trois with Cul-De-Sac (1966) and Death and the Maiden (1994). All three films feature a couple whose lives are turned upside down by an outside character. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie when Andrzej and Krystyna are driving away from the harbor, the boats in the background change between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Andrzej: [sees the boy for the first time] Hitching at this hour.
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Connections

Featured in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roman's Spring
7 February 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The first Polish film to be nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar, Roman Polanski's "Knife in the Water" is one of the most impressive director's debuts I've seen.

The story is simple. A wealthy couple on its way to spend a weekend on their yacht picks up a young and attractive hitchhiker. The middle-aged husband, a successful and cynical sportswriter invites the young man on board, perhaps to show off his nice yacht, his seamanship, and eventually, his superiority. His young and sexy wife does not say much but as the yacht moves along and tension between two men rises, she seems to enjoy the presence of a passenger and the obvious competition between them for her attention.

Made of the very simple material, the film is a brilliant psychological thriller that shows the young writer-director's extraordinary ability to create menace on the screen throughout the profound study of the characters' deep hidden emotions. Not as widely known as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby", "Knife in the Water" is the perfect introduction to the work of the director whose craft in creating disturbing studies of anger, humiliation, fear, and sexuality is truly remarkable.


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