- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 34 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 30, 2003
- Originally Released: 1963
- Label: Criterion
- 2-Disc Set
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Additional Release Material:
- 8 Early Short Films by Roman Polanski ("Murder", "Teeth Smile", "Break Up the Dance", "Two Men and a Wardrobe", "The Lamp", "When Angels Fall", "The Fat and The Lean", and "Mammals")
- Featurette: Video Interview With Polanski and Co-Screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- A Collection of Rare Publicity and Production Stills
- English Subtitle Translation by Roman Polanski
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 01/26/1996
"...Polanski's brilliant first feature....Still packs a punch..." -- Rating:A
Los Angeles Times - 10/25/1991
"...[The film] has a taut and creepy impact, like a bug crawling up your arm..."
USA Today - 10/17/2003
"...It still compels watching these head games play out..."
Roman Polanski's directorial debut, his final film-school dissertation, captures the tension between a mismatched couple who pick up a hitchhiker and take him on a weekend yacht voyage.
Essential Cinema |
Journalists / Journalism |
Love Triangle |
Love Triangles |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical release: October 28, 1963.
- The film screened at the New York Film Festival on September 11, 1963.
- Filmed on location in the Mazurian Lake district, Poland.
- KNIFE IN THE WATER won the International Critics Award at the 1963 Venice Film Festival.
- Niemczyk is the only professional among the film's three actors; the other two are a music and an acting student, respectively, cast for their physical appearance.
- Polanski had intended to take on the role of the young hitchhiker himself, but Jerzy Bossak, head of the Polish film unit KAMERA (under whose auspices the film was made), turned him down because he didn't consider the director attractive enough. The character's voice, however, is Polanski's, who later dubbed the part over. Coscreenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski (MOONLIGHTING) also was interested in playing the part.
- The couple's car, seen in the opening and closing sequences, was initially supposed to be a Mercedes, but this was replaced with a Peugeot during filming to avoid political controversy. (The more expensive car was perceived as an icon of Western luxury and decadence.)