7.0/10
8,528
62 user 29 critic

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

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 »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A drop-out from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

'It's Monopoly out there'. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn
The Fortune (1975)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them, not even murder.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Stockard Channing, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty
Catch-22 (1970)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Dr Jake Terrell, who has been training a pair of dolphins for many years, has had a breakthrough. He has taught his dolphins to speak and understand English, although they do have a limited... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino
The Border (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupted border agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine
Heartburn (1986)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An autobiographical look at the breakup of Ephron's marriage to Carl "All the President's Men" Bernstein that was also a best-selling novel. The Ephron character, Rachel is a food writer at... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels
Ironweed (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, NY after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
Wolf (1994)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Publisher Will Randall becomes a werewolf and has to fight to keep his job.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum
Edit

Cast

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

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1971 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Conocimiento carnal  »

Box Office

Gross:

$28,623,900 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The waltz music played on the organ during the skating scene is "Komm' mit mir, ich tanz' mit dir" by Emmerich Kalman from the operetta "Der Zigeunerprimas." 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: They Saved Lisa's Brain (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Komm' mit mir, ich tanz' mit dir
Written by Emmerich Kalman (music), Julius Wilhelm and Fritz Grunbaum (words)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hi!!! Would You Like To Have Sex!!!!!
20 August 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is one of the most accurate reflections of the sixties' sexual revolution, as well as perennial sexual ambiguity throughout someone's entire adult existence! It's about knowing that there are no strings attached, and that it is, in fact, just sexual intercourse and nothing else!! All is fine and good except one thing....YOU GOT MARRIED!!!!...Now enters the commitment, or shall I say, lack of it...There is a cynical outlook on each other.....The verbal abuse that is the end result of a relationship that has nothing but sex to offer, serves as an acrimonious aftermath to everyone's insincerity!! Some people (Ann Margaret) give up in life....Some people (Art Garfunkel) get resentful and searching...And others (Such as Jack Nicholson) remain misunderstood even to himself!! The college day's fiasco with Candace Bergen (Between Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel) should have served as a harbinger of things to come!! Instead, the hedonistic challenge casual sex provided for everybody, not only made people oblivious to the negative emotional battleground casual sex had the potential for presenting, but it established a pattern of recklessness for everybody's self centered priorities!! The prestige of being a Central Park West intellectual evokes an aura of false confidence, and it is evident that New York City merely spreads out the welcome mat for adversity before most any place else!! All of these theatrics simply translate to callous gratification! This is a film where people talk to one another, but it doesn't work out......So they have sex, they know they will grow tired of it, but when this occurs, they can't accept it either!!! Popular scapegoats seem to be; confusion, idealistic notions which have turned to blatant misconceptions, a distasteful awakening with selfishness, and disgruntled generalizations that "Women are all ball-busters!!" (Not just independent!!) It becomes a living nightmare for all of the characters concerned to distinguish between casual sex, and apathetic hobby!!! All of them are isolated by the negative consequences of casual sex!!! Jack Nicholson's condescension from a sex surrogate (Rita Moreno) denounces meagerness, and thus, becomes a form of precarious vindication which will give the movie audience a thorough comprehension of the type of person Jack Nicholson's character is, and always will be too!! Mike Nichols is a fabulous director, and this film is compelling in it's ability to tell the truth!!! The camera angles in this movie are spectacular! This film is very controversial for the time it was made because it brought to the attention of the movie viewer that the erroneous perceptions about recreational sex, and the truth about recreational sex are about as compatible a mixture as oil and water!! Nobody in this movie had any compunction about throwing necessary caution to the wind! The depiction of such people in "Carnal Knowledge" was very astute! Above all else with regards to this film, recognize the amazing array of talent this movie possesses!!


52 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ann-Margret, Nicholson Fight Scene blairmanning
So somebody remind me . . . frog-34
Why Garfunkel? SarahBellum
Ellen Burstyn offered role of Bobbie nitznitch
Cindy Noir-It-All
interpretation of slide picture... annah
Discuss Carnal Knowledge (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?