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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 »

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
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

Taglines:

The United States Supreme Court Has Ruled That "Carnal Knowledge" Is Not Obscene. See It Now!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Jules Feiffer said he had no idea how Nicholson would tackle the multiple levels of the Jonathan/Bobbie fight, in which the character is "defensive, enraged, contemptuous, and bullying." If the actor got half of everything Feiffer had put into the scene on paper, the writer said he would be more than satisfied. Nicholson got everything, and on the first take, according to Feiffer. Astonished, the writer asked director Mike Nichols what he had told the actor. "Nothing," Feiffer reports Nichols replying with a grin. "I told him absolutely nothing. He came up with it all himself." 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

References Gentleman's Agreement (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonlight Serenade
(uncredited)
Written by Glenn Miller
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Naughty but good...
5 September 2005 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Telling the sordid, often depressing story of two men and their sexual hangups over several decades, director Mike Nichols and writer Jules Fieffer concoct a thinking man's dirty movie. At times it's not easy to watch, but it's mostly entertaining and beautifully made. Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel are the men ---Nicholson is the callous, emotionally detached one, Garfunkel is the romantic. He marries college sweetheart Candice Bergen, while Nicholson shacks up with sexy Ann-Margret. The scenes with Nicholson and Ann-Margret are cringe-inducing. Nicholson, Garfunkel and Bergen are terrific and Nichol's clever casting of Ann-Margret, putting her sex kitten image through the blender, pays off in spades...she's the best thing in the movie. The supporting cast includes Carol Kane and Rita Moreno.


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