7.6/10
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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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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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

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Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knife in the Water  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Roman Polanski's directorial debut, and the only film he ever made in his native Poland. Shortly after the film was released, Polanski emigrated to France (then to England, and then to the US), where he established his international fame. See more »

Goofs

Although the Peugeot 403 is seen in the first scenes and the last distant shot at the end, the car the couple get in to and drive away from the pier on their return from the trip is the elusive Mercedes 190 talked about as replaced in the trivia. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in People I Know (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrificly Tight & Atmospheric Drama/Psychological Thriller
16 August 2000 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Well, this film may not appeal to the legions of folk who consider drivel like The Sixth Sense to be great drama/thriller material, but to those of us who adore movies and respect the great ones, this one is a gem.

This great-granddad to later works like "Dead Calm" or even "The Talented Mr. Ripley" manages to deliver the goods on this wickedly smart little tale about a young middle class couple who pick up a hitchhiker who manages to turn their life around in the course of one day.

What sets this film apart from others is it's place in movie history and it's polished (no pun intended) directorial style.

This early hit by future great director Roman Polanski manages to make you believe in these three people without questioning the typically silly things that people do in thrillers. Of course most of us would not invite a strange hitchhiker onto their private boat for an evening, especially when the hitchhiker carries with them a huge hunting knife and an attitude.

Just throw your disbelief to the wind, and sit back and enjoy this little gem. I loved the juxtaposition of the vast open air and beautiful water vistas with the claustrophobic atmosphere aboard the little "yacht". The terrific moment when the couple dares the young man to hang over the edge of the boat and he begins to "run" on water alongside. Even the inevitable seduction rings true due to the circumstances. I won't reveal anymore scenes.

This film is to be enjoyed by all! The only complaint is while I saw this film at the normally wonderful Film Forum in NYC, the grossly outdated and shabby looking subtitles positively cry out for a restoration!!


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