Knife in the Water

Knife in the Water

Directed by Roman Polanski • 1962 • Poland

Roman Polanski's first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters' emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman's attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression. This remarkable directorial debut won Polanski worldwide acclaim, a place on the cover of Time, and his first Oscar nomination.

Subscribe Share
Knife in the Water
  • Knife in the Water

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1962 • Poland

    Roman Polanski's first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters' emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker join...

Extras

  • Polanski and Skolimowski on KNIFE IN THE WATER

  • Michael Cunningham on KNIFE IN THE WATER

  • Murder

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1957 • Poland

    The following is the first complete student short Roman Polanski made at the State Film School in Lodz, Poland. A story told in almost total darkness and in one room, the film introduces themes the director has revisited throughout his career.

  • Teeth Smile

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1957 • Poland

    In his autobiography, director Roman Polanski writes that the theme of TEETH SMILE was set for him by a supervisor at film school. The film follows a peeping tom as he looks through a bathroom window.

  • The Lamp

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1959 • Poland

    THE LAMP was made in Roman Polanski's final year at the State Film School in Lodz. Polanski has said there is a connection between all his short films, 'because in them I had certain ideals which I wished to express. It's really a question of a certain ...

  • Two Men and a Wardrobe

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1958 • Poland

    Perhaps the best known of Roman Polanski’s shorts, TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE was his first to be screened publicly. It won five awards at international festivals. Polanski said in a 1966 interview, “When I filmed TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE, I tried . . . to ke...

  • When Angels Fall

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1959 • Poland

    Director Roman Polanski got the idea for his senior thesis from an article about a lavatory attendant who claimed to have had a mystical vision. “A lavatory attendant’s life seemed to epitomize vacuity, drudgery, monotony,” he recalled in his autobiogra...

  • The Fat and the Lean

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1961 • France

    Polanski directed this 15-minute black-and-white short just after completing film school. The film features the music of Krzysztof Komeda, who composed the scores for all but one of the director’s films between TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE and ROSEMARY’S BABY...

  • Mammals

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1962 • Poland

    MAMMALS was the last of director Roman Polanski’s short films before he bagan to work on his first feature, KNIFE IN THE WATER. It received awards at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and the Melbourne International Film Festival.