Knife in the Water

Watch Knife in the Water

"Acclaimed by all! Roman Polanski's tense, ironic Drama!"
  • NR
  • 1962
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 7.4  (23,270)

Knife in the Water is a 1962 Polish psychological thriller directed by Roman Polanski. The movie revolves around three characters, a middle-aged journalist, his younger wife, and a hitchhiker whom they pick up while heading towards a sailing trip in their boat. The story begins with the journalist, Andrzej, and his wife, Krystyna, driving down a deserted, winding road towards a lake. Along the way, they pick up a young hitchhiker, who appears restless and frigid. The journalist takes a liking to him and invites him to join them on their yacht, much to his wife's chagrin.

Tensions soon ensue between the three while out on the yacht. The situation is further exacerbated when the journalist and the hitchhiker compete against each other in a series of games: swimming, spearfishing, and eventually, a knife throwing contest. As the rivalry between the two men intensifies, Krystyna finds herself caught in the middle, and tensions mount until they culminate in a shocking and violent conclusion.

The film is a masterful study of human psychology and the dynamics of power play within a closed and tense environment. The claustrophobic setting of the yacht, combined with the simmering emotions of the three characters, creates a palpable sense of unease that builds throughout the movie.

Leon Niemczyk delivers a powerful performance as Andrzej, the journalist who is used to getting his way and always being in control. He is arrogant, domineering, and intimidating, and his presence is felt throughout the film. Jolanta Umecka, who plays Krystyna, delivers a performance that is nuanced and complex. She is caught between her husband and the hitchhiker, forced to navigate their egos and insecurities while remaining a passive observer.

Zygmunt Malanowicz gives a restrained and enigmatic performance as the hitchhiker. His character remains a mystery throughout the movie, his motivations unclear until the final act. His presence is a constant reminder of the fragility of the human mind and how easily it can be pushed to the brink.

The film is shot in black and white, and the visuals are stunning. Polanski expertly uses the cramped quarters of the yacht to create tension and claustrophobia. The editing is precise, with each shot adding to the overall tension and unease.

Knife in the Water was Roman Polanski's first full-length feature film, and it is a remarkable debut. The film was a critical and commercial success, widely praised for its innovation and psychological complexity. It was awarded the FIPRESCI prize at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

In conclusion, Knife in the Water is a brilliant and iconic film that has stood the test of time. Its exploration of human psychology, power dynamics, and the notion of competition is as relevant today as it was in 1962. The performances, direction, and cinematography are all outstanding, making it a must-watch for any film enthusiast.

Knife in the Water is a 1962 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.

Knife in the Water
Where to Watch Knife in the Water
Knife in the Water is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Knife in the Water for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (23,270)