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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  28 October 1963 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,728 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 74 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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Title: Knife in the Water (1962)

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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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Polish theatrical film to show a woman stripping. See more »

Goofs

After Young Boy takes out his knife to offer it to Krystyna, to cut the radishes he gave her, and then leans back to play the knife game with his hand, as he leans back the head of a light haired fourth person can be seen sticking up from the cabin behind him. This is presumably a crew member but the person is fairly unidentifiable due to the briefness of the shot and the angle of the persons head. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in 'El Chicko' - der Verdacht (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Lubricated Blade
20 January 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

There is nothing more thrilling than discovering a natural filmmaker for the first time. There are only so many, and you can only have menarche once. Its an introduction into another life.

I first saw this in 1965 at the Orson Welles Cinema near Harvard Square. We were told it was made behind the backs of Iron Curtain thugs, only surviving because of international attention. (I wouldn't meet Tarkovsky or Kieslowski until later.) And that it was made by the fellow who had made the striking "Repulsion," which at that time was anticipated but yet unseen in the States.

I've since learned some striking things: that both Polanski and his co-writer wanted to play the hitchhiker and indeed it is Polanski's voice. And that the mistress who seems only half alive was in fact played by a non-actress they found by looking at swimming pools. Also that the situation was suggested by a long planned and discussed Orson Welles project ("The Deep") that was started after this and never completed.

The writing is good of course, especially the central image the title denotes, but the camera finds the perfect place always. It is like Altman's camera (after this) that discovers the action rather than, say Spielberg's where the action is obviously happening in such a way to be cleanly seen by the camera. And so much harder on a boat!

But the interesting thing about such an introduction to a filmmaker is the relationship that follows: we know certain things about how he thinks and sees. We expect the conversation to continue and mature over the years. And what a rocky ride this man has taken us on, through perfectly created worlds (in which I include "Ninth Gate") but also through pure dreck and rank sentimentality (both of which tag "The Pianist").

Sometimes he's internal to the narrative, even the charmed actor. Sometimes he is outside the narrative, pulling strings (as with this film) but sometimes it is clear he never got out of bed.

As with Kubrick and so many others, you really must start at the beginning, which essentially means here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


53 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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