The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
Sandy (as Arthur Garfunkel)
...
...
Cynthia O'Neal ...
Cindy
...
Jennifer
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Storyline

The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in relation to the respective women who end up in their lives. Their story begins in the late 1940s when they are roommates attending Amherst College together. Both virgins, they discuss the type of woman they would each like to end up with. Sandy, the more sensitive of the two, meets Susan at a mixer, she who he believes is going to be the one to who he will lose his virginity. Sandy goes through the process methodically, taking into account what he thinks Susan wants, but without much true passion or romance. Jonathan, the more sexually aggressive of the two, ends up losing his virginity first to "Myrtle", who ends up being a steady but hidden girlfriend. Based on what each knows of the other's relationship, both Jonathan and Sandy strive for a little more of what the other has. These relationships also set... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | sex | friend | college | virginity | See All (91) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1971 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Conocimiento carnal  »

Box Office

Gross:

$28,623,900 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After working with Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider (1969), Karen Black went to Mike Nichols, on recommendation from Jack, to test for the role of Bobbie. It was mutually decided that Karen did not have the right figure for the role. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jonathan: If you had a choice...
Sandy: Yeah?
Jonathan: Would you rather love a girl, or have her love you?
Sandy: I want it mutual.
Jonathan: I mean if you couldn't have it mutual.
Sandy: You mean would I rather be the one who loves, or is loved?
Jonathan: Yeah.
Sandy: It's not that easy a question. But, I think I'd rather be in love.
Jonathan: Me too.
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Connections

Referenced in Charlie Rose: Quentin Tarantino (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
(uncredited)
Written by George Bassman and Ned Washington
Performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
"Sandy, do you wanna get laid?"
16 April 2007 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

"Carnal Knowledge" (1971) directed by Mike Nichols with Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret in an Oscar nominated performance as a sex kitten who wants to marry Nicholson's Jonathan, and Carol Kane and Rita Moreno in the small roles is one of the movies that made 70s so memorable. It is also the movie that keeps reminding me why I love Jack Nicholson of his early years and how grand he was without his "Jackness" which he has developed during all these years. Sandy (Garfunkel) and Jonathan are two college friends and like every straight young (and not too young) man in the world they are obsessed by girls and move from one relationship to another in the course of almost thirty years. Nichols and Jules Feiffer who wrote the play and later adapted it for the screen let us look inside the minds and souls of two educated upper-middle class white males and to learn their very intimate thoughts and secrets concerning their plentiful dysfunctional and joyless affairs and it is not a pretty picture - "Boys begin life not liking girls, later they don't change, they just get horny." The film is honest, uncomfortable, "very slick, very clever".


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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