7.0/10
9,805
69 user 34 critic

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

R | | Drama | 16 September 1971 (UK)
Chronicling the lifelong sexual development of two men who meet and befriend one another in college.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

Jules Feiffer
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From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Conocimiento carnal See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jack Nicholson got ready to do a nude scene, he warned the others by saying "Here comes Big Steve!" 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 Indie Sex: Teens (2007) 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 »

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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


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