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Knife in the Water Photos

Movie Info

On their way to an afternoon on the lake, husband and wife Andrzej (Leon Niemczyk) and Krystyna (Jolanta Umecka) nearly run over a young hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanowicz). Inviting the young man onto the boat with them, Andrzej begins to subtly torment him; the hitchhiker responds by making overtures toward Krystyna. When the hitchhiker is accidentally knocked overboard, the husband's panic results in unexpected consequences. This was the first feature directed by Roman Polanski.

Cast & Crew

Krzysztof Komeda
Original Music
Jerzy Lipman
Cinematographer
Halina Prugar-Ketling
Film Editor
Boleslaw Kamykowski
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Knife in the Water

Critic Reviews for Knife in the Water

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (33)

  • Middle-aged cocksureness, arrogance and incomprehension versus teenage revolt, with a young woman as a sort of arbiter, is the theme of this lively and inventive little pic.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Polanski's first feature, a model of economic, imaginative film-making which, in many ways, he has hardly improved upon since.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Polanski arrived on the scene with an almost super-human knack for tension; one of the great directorial debuts in cinema's history.

    April 1, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Knife in the Water has one of those simple, clearly expressed narratives that grabs you and holds you even though not much goes on.

    October 13, 2003
  • It eminently justifies the interest in its acid contents and in the techniques of its young director that it stirred.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Not easily accessible, but a film whose scenes and themes stick with you.

    May 21, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Knife in the Water

  • Jan 11, 2014
    Although I was expecting a thriller rather than a drama, Knife in the Water is an expertly-made film in nearly every way, and as the debut of director Roman Polanski it foreshadows the rest of his career with heavy use of religious imagery, spectacular cinematography, and a constant sense of tension.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2012
    An successful middle aged man, a trophy wife, and a young aimless drifter converge for a day's outing on a sailboat ... what could happen next? Polanski seems to suggest that the setup tells the story in this brilliantly filmed black and white drama from 1962, and it does indeed. It does indeed.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2012
    It was good but not as good as repulsion. The acting and cinematography were great but the film's pacing with its lack of story depth left me somewhat empty at the end.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    A Roman Polanski debut work that strictly features a ménage à trois: a couple and a young stranger, on a sailing trip. Knife In The Water features gradual subtle exposition of tension that has developed into something intriguing. Inventive. Stirring. Dynamic.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer

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