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Knife in the Water (1962)
"Nóz w wodzie" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  28 October 1963 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,085 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 76 critic

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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leon Niemczyk ...
...
...
Young Man
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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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knife in the Water  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

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.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Polanski's film has artistic integrity...

In Polanski's feature debut, "Knife in the Water," strange power games were again to the fore, with ridiculous macho rivalries arising when a young looking man hitches a lift with a sportswriter and his attractive wife… Though the plot itself is slim, the film is distinguished by Polanski's precise visuals, which point the shifts in allegiance between the three characters through subtle groupings; impressively, although almost the whole film is situated on a small yacht, the effect is always cinematic rather than theatrical…

Polanski's film is implicit, ingenious, mesmerizing, and has artistic integrity… It is filled with a very different sort of suspense… There is no violence… The suspense is hinted at, suggested, refined tautly, glimpsed, did-he-mean-what-I-think-he-meant?

The rich man's confidence was in his possessions, among which was numbered his attractive wife, lying in bikini, teasing by arousing expectations between them on the deck… The student's confidence, casual, almost unaware, was in his very being... The husband resented the youth, the strength, the "cool," the easy virility of the student and worked out a compulsion to keep challenging them, to try to show his superiority…

Polanski was fair – each had his own strengths and skills; but the one obsessively resented the others…


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