Knife in the Water (1962)


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Movie Info

Knife in the Water (Noz W Wodzie) was the first feature film effort of Polish director Roman Polanski. Sportswriter Leon Niemczyk and his wife Jolanta Umecka invite baby-faced hitchhiker Zygmunt Malanowicz to join them on a yacht excursion. Sensing that his wife is attracted to Malanowicz, Niemczyk plots to humiliate the boy by showing off his own athletic prowess during the cruise.

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Critic Reviews for Knife in the Water

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Polanski's first feature, a model of economic, imaginative film-making which, in many ways, he has hardly improved upon since.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Knife in the Water has one of those simple, clearly expressed narratives that grabs you and holds you even though not much goes on.

Oct 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…

The sexual tensions build slowly and subtly, and when they explode into violence, it seems to be the desired result.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Polanski has played a cool trick by taking this ordinarily social squabble out of the city and putting it down in the middle of a watery nowhere.

Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Knife in the Water

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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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 oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

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 Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer


This is one of Polanski's great early films, and one of my favourites, it involves a love triangle, and is very suspenseful and dramatic. I love it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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