7.0/10
10,975
78 user 43 critic

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

R | | Drama | 30 June 1971 (USA)
Chronicling the lifelong sexual development of two men who meet and befriend one another in college.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

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

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Nicholson ... Jonathan
Candice Bergen ... Susan
Art Garfunkel ... Sandy (as Arthur Garfunkel)
Ann-Margret ... Bobbie
Rita Moreno ... Louise
Cynthia O'Neal ... Cindy
Carol Kane ... Jennifer
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Beautiful but amoral model Diana Scott sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A dropout 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
The Balloon (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Haruki Murakami is a successful family man and the head of a camera company. Unbeknownst to Murakami, his arrogant son oscillates between a mistress and a new lover who sings at a nightclub... See full summary »

Director: Yûzô Kawashima
Stars: Shirô Amakusa, Michiyo Aratama, Izumi Ashikawa
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two ex-lovers wind up living next door to each other with their respective spouses. Forbidden passions ensue.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Henri Garcin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A couple stand indecisively on a bridge in Asakusa. Tsutae and Yoshiji have lost confidence and passion for their future as they get on the bus for Tsukishima and get off at Suzaki. Across ... See full summary »

Director: Yûzô Kawashima
Stars: Michiyo Aratama, Yukiko Todoroki, Seizaburô Kawazu
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Billy Liar (1963)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk (Sir Tom Courtenay) in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When she was a little girl, Wakako Kyoguku's portrait was painted by a talented young artist. Years later, she takes it to an art gallery in Ginza, in hopes of reuniting with the creator whom she never knew the name.

Director: Yûzô Kawashima
Stars: Tatsuya Mihashi, Yumeji Tsukioka, Mie Kitahara
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sonejiro sacrifices all comfort to devote himself to research. Young housewife Yachiyo is disappointed with her husband Kappei, who is more attracted to mountain climbing and another girl. ... See full summary »

Director: Yûzô Kawashima
Stars: Sô Yamamura, Yumeji Tsukioka, Tatsuya Mihashi
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

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Carol Kane has not a single word of dialogue in the film which was only the second feature film in which she appeared. Four years later, she would be Oscar-nominated for Best Leading Actress (for "Hester Street"), ironically, in the same year against Ann-Margret (for "Tommy"), 1975. 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. I wouldn't want to get hurt, though.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: Floral Knowledge (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Tuxedo Junction
(uncredited)
Written by Erskine Hawkins, William Johnson, Julian Dash, and Buddy Feyne
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
See more »

User Reviews

 
It's Not A Kids' Movie
17 August 2005 | by gottogorunningSee all my reviews

It's depressing to see what a low rating Carnal Knowledge gets. Jules Feiffer, the brilliant cartoonist, wrote an extraordinary script for this film. I loved the dialog so much I found the script on Alibris and read it immediately.

This is a dark movie. Not that it's violent or bloody, but its take on men vs. women relationships is bleak, blunt, and accurate. Jack Nicholson is charismatic and smart in his role, showing the misery at the heart of a cynic.

As others have written, it's not a kids' movie. It's not even a young adults' movie-- I was bored when I first saw it, at 21. It's an "adult movie" in the non-euphemistic sense of that phrase, an adult movie about the mortality of romance


40 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 78 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carnal Knowledge See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$28,623,900
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Embassy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed