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The 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 12,688 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 75 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: The 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 Boy
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Storyline

An attractive young woman, Christine, takes the wheel of a car belonging to her partner Andrzej, a sports columnist. While he criticizes her driving skills, a reckless student leaps out in front of the car. Andrzej gives the student a ride and invites him to accompany them on their yacht trip. Attracted to Christine, the student becomes increasingly clumsy. He spends his time jabbing the point of a pocket knife rapidly between the fingers of his other hand. Andrzek argues with the student, who topples overboard, vanishing into the lake. Andrzej dives in to save him, though he fails to find the student and swims ashore. Despite an earlier claim that he couldn't swim, the student manages to hide behind the nearest buoy. Written by alfiehitchie

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:

The Knife in the Water  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The couple's car, seen in the opening and closing sequences, was initially supposed to be a Mercedes, but this was replaced with a Peugeot during filming to avoid political controversy. (The more expensive car was perceived as an icon of Western luxury and decadence). During the shots, a prominent party member arrived at the plan in the newest model of Mercedes. He was invited by the whole crew with peals of laughter. 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.
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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