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The Knack... and How to Get It (1965)
"The Knack ...and How to Get It" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  3 June 1965 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,788 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 19 critic

In England, the times are a changing: it's mods and rockers. On the day Nancy gets off the London train, cases in hand, looking for the YWCA, Colin has had enough of missing out on the ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Tushingham ...
Ray Brooks ...
...
...
Tom
William Dexter ...
Dress Shop Owner
...
Man in Photo Booth
Margot Thomas ...
Female Teacher
...
Angry Father
Helen Lennox ...
Girl in Photo Booth
Wensley Pithey ...
Teacher
Edgar Wreford ...
Man in Phone Booth
Frank Sieman ...
Surveyor
Bruce Lacey ...
Surveyor's Asst.
George Chisholm ...
Left Luggage Porter
...
Picture Owner
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Storyline

In England, the times are a changing: it's mods and rockers. On the day Nancy gets off the London train, cases in hand, looking for the YWCA, Colin has had enough of missing out on the sexual revolution. He begs his smooth (and misogynistic) pal Tolen to teach him 'the knack' - how to score with women. Serendipitously, Colin and his new lodger Tom meet up with Nancy while Colin's buying a bed larger than Tolen's. The three hit it off, but their simple fun ends when Tolen meets Nancy. Colin is jealous but impotent, and Tolen both attracts and repels her. She swoons, wonders what happened, and cries 'rape.' Impish serendipity rubs against unsettling ambiguity; Tolen bolts. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some have it, Some Don't. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 June 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Knack... and How to Get It  »

Box Office

Budget:

$364,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Respectively actress and score composer of this film, Jane Birkin and John Barry married the same year of its release. See more »

Quotes

[criticizing England's youth culture]
Old Man: Mods and Rockers!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Many Faces of...: Michael Crawford (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Knack (vocal)
Written by John Barry
Sung by Johnny De Little
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User Reviews

 
The Knack emerges as a serious contender as the film which best defines and captures the essence of the sixties.
13 November 2002 | by (Bristol, England) – See all my reviews

The Knack emerges as a serious contender as the film which best defines and captures the essence of the sixties. As a product of its age, it convincingly portrays an image of 'swinging London' that so dominated the media at that time. It is an enduring image, which has long since seeped into our collective consciousness.

Today, The Knack appears, at best, to be an attempt at understanding the changing moral landscape that was being radically redrawn during this era. As a piece of contemporary film making, it manages to capture the spirit of that age perfectly. What it doesn't necessarily do is make sense of it all. The 1960s was, after all, a period of rapid social and political change - an age of cold war tension, supersonic invention and lunar landing pretensions, combined with increasing freedom for teenagers, both in terms of sex and spending power.

The quartet of principal actors, Crawford, Tushingham, Brooks & Donnelly all give bravura performances. Richard Lester's direction was exemplary; indeed, he has probably not made a better film since those heady days. The locations, featuring some rather dingy-looking parts of the capital, look all the more so thanks to the decision to film in monochrome. This was particular brave considering the colourful times the film was depicting. The one ingredient which most of all created the sense of playfulness indicative of the film was John Barry's wonderfully mischievous jazz-tinged pop score. One cannot imagine the film without it, which is the highest compliment one can pay to a film soundtrack.

There is no doubt that The Knack was and remains a stylish movie, albeit rooted in its time. No viewer can fail to date its origin correctly ... yet that's precisely what makes this celluloid time-capsule such a fascinating viewing experience. It exists as the archetypal mid-sixties art-house movie, which, like the decade in which it was written, took risks, dared to be different, and, if it didn't always succeed, sure as hell made an impression.


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