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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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leon Niemczyk ...
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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

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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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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski had intended to take on the role of the young hitchhiker himself, but Jerzy Bossak, head of the Polish film unit KAMERA (under whose auspices the film was made), turned him down because he didn't consider the director attractive enough. The character's voice, however, is Polanski's, who later dubbed the part over. Zygmunt Malanowicz had a strong, developed, bass voice, which was quite inappropriate for the character. See more »

Goofs

Although the Peugeot 403 is seen in the first scenes and the last distant shot at the end, the car the couple get in to and drive away from the pier on their return from the trip is the elusive Mercedes 190 talked about as replaced in the trivia. 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

 
Brilliant in every way!
16 May 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski created a landmark film with Knife in the Water. It perhaps even trumps his most famous film, Chinatown. A man and his wife (or is it his mistress?) pick up a hitchhiker. For reasons that are obscure for most of the film, the man asks the hitchhiker if he would like to come along on their sailing trip. They plan to sail until the next dawn. It feels like it'll be a run-of-the-mill thriller, but it's much smarter than that. Really, it's a tale about male posturing, and it may be the best film on that subject. The three actors are excellent. Polanski's direction is flawless. The jazz score is wonderful, as well. One of the best ever made. 10/10.


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