IMDb > Knife in the Water (1962)
Nóz w wodzie
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Knife in the Water (1962) More at IMDbPro »Nóz w wodzie (original title)

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Knife in the Water -- When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman's attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax.


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7.6/10   13,956 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
28 October 1963 (USA) See more »
On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The games people play See more (83 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Leon Niemczyk ... Andrzej

Jolanta Umecka ... Krystyna

Zygmunt Malanowicz ... Young Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Anna Ciepielewska ... Krystyna (voice) (uncredited)

Roman Polanski ... Young Man (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Roman Polanski 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jakub Goldberg 
Roman Polanski 
Jerzy Skolimowski  dialogue
Jerzy Skolimowski  screenplay

Produced by
Stanislaw Zylewicz .... producer
Original Music by
Krzysztof Komeda  (as Krzysztof T. Komeda)
Cinematography by
Jerzy Lipman 
Film Editing by
Halina Prugar-Ketling  (as Halina Prugar)
Production Design by
Boleslaw Kamykowski 
Makeup Department
Zdzislaw Papierz .... makeup artist
Production Management
Josef Krakowski .... production manager
Jerzy Laskowski .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jakub Goldberg .... assistant director
Andrzej Kostenko .... assistant director
Maria Pietrzak .... assistant director
Art Department
Jerzy Bossak .... artistic director
Sound Department
Halina Paszkowska .... sound
Jerzy Szawlowski .... sound assistant
Camera and Electrical Department
Andrzej Gronau .... camera operator
Julian Magda .... assistant camera
Józef Nasiadka .... assistant camera
Jerzy Szurowski .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Maria Karpowicz .... assistant editor
Music Department
Bernt Rosengren .... musician: saxophone
Other crew
Jerzy Stefan Stawinski .... literary director (as Jerzy Stawinski)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nóz w wodzie" - Poland (original title)
See more »
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Australia:PG | Finland:S | Iceland:L | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2004) | UK:PG (video rating) (1992) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

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


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67 out of 72 people found the following review useful.
The games people play, 30 December 2003
Author: Michael_Cronin from Sydney, Australia

Polanski's first feature, on paper, sounds like nothing more than a run-of-the-mill claustrophobic thriller set on a boat - a couple takes a loner on board, you figure out the rest. 'Dead Calm', 'The Deep', etc etc etc.

Instead, 'Knife In The Water' is an agonisingly tense look at male posturing & ego, the husband & hitch-hiker constantly challenging each other in every possible way - sailing prowess, games of fiddlesticks, knife throwing & just generally strutting about. There's almost never a single moment where the two aren't trying to trump each other, & one gets the impression that it's not even to impress the girl, so much as themselves. As the film progresses, the tension mounts & tempers fray.

In a Hollywood film, this would build up to a dramatic climax of violence & catharsis, accompanied with thunder & lightning. Polanski doesn't let us off the hook that easily - things get rough, but the games continue, right until the very end of the film.

Shot in black & white, with a cast of three, & virtually one small location, 'Knife In The Water' puts bigger films to shame. No stars, no pyrotechnics, no special effects, probably very little budget, & it's completely riveting from start to finish.

It was nominated for the Best Foreign Film at the Oscars - the first feature of a young Polish film student - & rightly so.

A brilliant start to a brilliant career.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Knife in the Water (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where's all the suspense + tension that everyone's talking about? yllennoc
A thriller about gender and sexuality radek-piskorski
Polanski's Best? jackstraw901
15/250 Silver Screen Fiend mattleighkelly
Eerie Similarities to Natalie Wood kelkyl
Knight Without Armour - alternative title of the movie paniczyk
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