Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

Director: Mike Nichols. Cast: Jack Nicholson, Arthur Garfunkel, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret. 98 min. Rated R. Drama/Comedy.

Nicholson is a misogynistic freak who employs women for his own grandiose pleasure, but ironically, almost comically, is outwitted by even the most naive ones. In terms of the rapid succession of sharp, witty dialogue and the small number of characters, this is very similar to Nichols' other great film about male-female relationships, Closer (2004); so if you liked that one, this is a must-see. Spell-binding performances by Nicholson and Ann-Margaret, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and featuring Art Garfunkel, who with Paul Simon made another Nichols movie (The Graduate, 1967) and its "Mrs. Robinson" memorable.

Mo says:


  1. Interesting that I saw both movies you recommended from Mike Nichols in 2 days ,Carnal knowledge was one of the darkest and upsetting movies I've seen so far & Birdcage was one of the best comedies ever made! in the former all people are unhappy,desperate and loser and the latter all seem delighted , satisfied and appreciated !That is an incredible ability of a great filmmaker who can create such a wide spectrum of taste and art. RIP

    1. Very interesting comparison. If you look at Nichols' resume, almost all his movies were iconic for their own times. Such flexibility are seen in the works of geniuses like Spielberg and Scorsese. And Spielberg admits Nichols was his role model!