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Knife in the Water (1962)

Nóz w wodzie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 28 October 1963 (USA)
On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Jakub Goldberg (scenario), Roman Polanski (scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leon Niemczyk ... Andrzej
Jolanta Umecka ... Krystyna
Zygmunt Malanowicz ... Young Man
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Storyline

Well off Andrzej and Krystyna's marriage is at a stage where familiarity breeds contempt, that contempt which is outwardly shown only behind closed doors and only when an incident of some sort sets off one or the other. While driving through the countryside on a Sunday on their way to the lake to embark on an overnight sailing excursion, they almost run over a young male hitchhiker. Despite the antagonism between Andrzej and the hitchhiker, Andrzej offers him a ride as far as the marina. By the time they reach the lake, their antagonism has dissipated enough that Andrzej asks if he would like to join them on their sailing trip. The hitchhiker accepts despite knowing nothing about sailing. As the sailing trip progresses, the antagonism between the two men begins to increase again, fueled on both sides as each strives to be the alpha male. Andrzej needs to show his superiority, while the hitchhiker needs to show that his young age and inexperience, not only with sailing but with life in... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Poland's Official Academy Award Entry See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish

Release Date:

28 October 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Knife in the Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespol Filmowy "Kamera" See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The couple's car, seen in the opening and closing sequences, was initially supposed to be a Mercedes, but this was replaced with a Peugeot during filming to avoid political controversy. (The more expensive car was perceived as an icon of Western luxury and decadence). During the shots, a prominent party member arrived at the plan in the newest model of Mercedes. He was invited by the whole crew with peals of laughter. See more »

Goofs

In some shots of the yacht sailing, the wake of the camera boat can be seen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Andrzej: [sees the boy for the first time] Hitching at this hour.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roman's Spring
7 February 2006 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

The first Polish film to be nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar, Roman Polanski's "Knife in the Water" is one of the most impressive director's debuts I've seen.

The story is simple. A wealthy couple on its way to spend a weekend on their yacht picks up a young and attractive hitchhiker. The middle-aged husband, a successful and cynical sportswriter invites the young man on board, perhaps to show off his nice yacht, his seamanship, and eventually, his superiority. His young and sexy wife does not say much but as the yacht moves along and tension between two men rises, she seems to enjoy the presence of a passenger and the obvious competition between them for her attention.

Made of the very simple material, the film is a brilliant psychological thriller that shows the young writer-director's extraordinary ability to create menace on the screen throughout the profound study of the characters' deep hidden emotions. Not as widely known as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby", "Knife in the Water" is the perfect introduction to the work of the director whose craft in creating disturbing studies of anger, humiliation, fear, and sexuality is truly remarkable.


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