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Information

A.k.a.
Knife in the Water
Year
1962
Runtime
94 min.
Director
Roman Polanski
Genre
Drama
Rating *
7.6
Votes *
9,655
Checks
3,218
Favs
274
Dislikes
22
Favs/checks
8.5% (1:12)
Favs/dislikes
12:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. filmyjo's avatar

    filmyjo

    First film (directorial debut) shows the brilliancy of Roman Polanski.. 7.5/10. 5 years 9 months ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Roman Polanski's directorial debut is the minimalistic Polish film Knife in the Water, which feels like a thriller, but is really more of a relationship drama, in which a married couple picks up a young hitchhiker who ends up being invited on their one-day sailing trip on a lake. What unfolds is a dangerous dick-measuring context, in which you're never sure whether you should be more wary of the older man or the younger man. After all, bringing a young transient with a knife about your small boat is a classic recipe for disaster, but why did the overbearing husband invite him aboard in the first place? The wife seems underwritten in comparison, but once the two men are symbolically emasculated through a kind of mutually-assured destruction of ego, she takes her place in the drama, and the title's knife, which was literal, but could also have represented the sharp-angled craft, becomes the emotional one she's able to twist in her husband's wound. I very much like that ambiguous ending, which speaks to his new impotence. The available print is missing a lot of subtitles though. Like, I'm okay with not getting every little nautical order given, but I sometimes felt like I was missing something more relevant (the kid's poem, for example). What's up with that, translators? 1 year 2 months ago
  3. Torgo's avatar

    Torgo

    A chamber drama with the undertones of a psycho-thriller on open water, all in splendid b/w photography. Great start for Polanski.

    In case you wondered: Yep, the whole film had to be redubbed due to unusable recordings (Polanski voicing the young man, Leon Niemczyk doing his own dialogue).
    2 months ago
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In 14 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #4 in Muzeum Kinematografii w Łodzi's Best Polish Films
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    Muzeum Kinematografii w …

    4
  2. This movie ranks #33 in Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej's 100 Years of Polish Film
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    Polski Instytut Sztuki F…

    33
  3. This movie ranks #44 in Time Out’s The 100 Best Thrillers
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    Time Out’s The 100 Best …

    44
  4. This movie ranks #45 in Academy Award - Best International Feature Film Nominees
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    Academy Award - Best Int…

    45
  5. This movie ranks #66 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
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    Empire's The 100 Best Fi…

    66
  6. This movie ranks #240 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    240
  7. This movie ranks #251 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Mark Cousins's The Story…

    251
  8. This movie ranks #295 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
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    BFI's 360 Classic Featur…

    295
  9. This movie ranks #298 in Amos Vogel's Film as a Subversive Art
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    Amos Vogel's Film as a S…

    298
  10. This movie ranks #447 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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    The New York Times's Boo…

    447
  11. This movie ranks #516 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

    516
  12. This movie ranks #631 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    631
  13. This movie ranks #642 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    642
  14. This movie ranks #904 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

    904
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