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The Knack... and How to Get It (1965)

The Knack ...and How to Get It (original title)
Approved | | Comedy | 7 July 1965 (France)
Cool, sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizing - with a long like of conquests to prove it - while the naïve, awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

Charles Wood (screenplay), Ann Jellicoe (play)
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Tushingham ... Nancy Jones
Ray Brooks ... Tolen
Michael Crawford ... Colin
Donal Donnelly ... Tom
William Dexter William Dexter ... Dress Shop Owner
Charles Dyer ... Man in Photo Booth
Margot Thomas Margot Thomas ... Female Teacher
John Bluthal ... Angry Father
Helen Lennox Helen Lennox ... Girl in Photo Booth
Wensley Pithey Wensley Pithey ... Teacher
Edgar Wreford Edgar Wreford ... Man in Phone Booth
Frank Sieman Frank Sieman ... Surveyor
Bruce Lacey Bruce Lacey ... Surveyor's Asst.
George Chisholm George Chisholm ... Left Luggage Porter
Peter Copley ... Picture Owner
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Storyline

Cool, sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizing - with a long like of conquests to prove it - while the naïve, awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece of it. But when Colin falls for an innocent country girl (Rita Tushingham), it's not long before the self-assured Tolen moves in for the kill. Is all fair in love and war, or can Colin get the the knack and beat Tolen at his own game? Written by Noel Kardaris

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ywca | bed | mods | british new wave | mod | See All (34) »

Taglines:

There's a niche for 'The Knack.' See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 July 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Knack... and How to Get It See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$364,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,000,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Woodfall Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debuts of Jacqueline Bisset and Charlotte Rampling, See more »

Quotes

[of Tolen's "rough play" with women]
Tom: Just think of what you could do with a real whip, Tolen. A real whip.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Lester in Conversation (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Ecstasy!
Written by John Barry
See more »

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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 GeoffLeoSee 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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