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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  28 October 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,910 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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Leon Niemczyk ...
Young Man


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




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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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The cover of Time Magazine's Sept. 20, 1963 edition used a still from this film. The cover story was about international cinema. The cover photo's caption simply said "LOVERS IN POLISH FILM" without identifying the movie or the actors in the photo. See more »


Throughout most of the movie, they were shown driving a Peugeot sedan. But when the couple first got back from sailing, with the young guy no longer present, they were in a Mercedes sedan until the very end of the movie, when the couple were once again in the Peugeot. See more »


[first lines]
Andrzej: [sees the boy for the first time] Hitching at this hour.
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Referenced in Dead in the Water (2002) 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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Where's all the suspense + tension that everyone's talking about? yllennoc
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