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Carnal Knowledge


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Carnal Knowledge + Catch-22 (1970) + The Graduate
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, Art Garfunkel, Rita Moreno
  • Directors: Mike Nichols
  • Writers: Jules Feiffer
  • Producers: Mike Nichols, Clive Reed, Joseph E. Levine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K0DP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carnal Knowledge" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Collectible Behind-the-Scenes Booklet

Editorial Reviews

One of the most controversial movies of its time, this "thought-provoking" (Leonard Maltin) comedy-drama from legendary director Mike Nichols (The Birdcage) is a funny, poignant look at relationships as seen through the eyes of two friends over a 20-year period. Superbly crafted by playwright Jules Feiffer, Carnal Knowledge is brimming with touching insights, sexy banter and powerful performances by three-time OscarÂ(r) winner* Jack Nicholson, Ann-Margaret, Candice Bergen and pop music icon Arthur Garfunkel. Jonathan (Nicholson) and Sandy (Garfunkel) are college roommates who share an endless fascinationand obsessionwith women. As time goes by, their relentless pursuit for the joys of the flesh becomes more competitive...and more damaging. Soon, Jonathan and Sandy's lives become a vicious circle of girls, booze and unfulfillment, and they realize only too late thatin the war of the sexesthey are their own worst enemy. *1997: Actor,As Good As It Gets; 1983: Supporting Actor, Terms of Endearment; 1975: Actor, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Customer Reviews

I know someone just like him; sadly.
Andrew Ellington
It was great to see these two perform together, as Nicholson is my favorite actor and Ann my favorite actress.
Anthony Nasti
Depiction of post WWII men with seriously limited feelings about women and relationships... See this movie!!!
Worldmom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fineberg on August 21, 2003
Format: DVD
Mike Nichols was on a roll after "The Graduate" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "Carnal Knowledge" is his most intimate film, and one of the most daring of the 1970s. Its frankness in dealing with young men's sexual psychology has not lost its edge after thirty years. On top of it all, it gives us Nicholson's first truly great performance. The early scenes between him and Garfunkel are fresh and sincere. Spanning some three decades of their friendship, we see how their attitudes towards sex, and women in general, shape their lives. Both actors do a fine job of communicating the gravity of those years, and the most devastating scene is the one where Jack delivers a long and furious tirade at Ann-Margret. "I don't want a job, I want you," she says, to which he replies, "I'm taken...by me!" Brutally honest, yes, but because we've seen what comes before, it's perfectly logical. These men are still affected by the innocence of their younger years, but that innocence is violently clashing with their adult understanding (or lack thereof)--the understanding that the personality is in perpetual motion, and that it becomes difficult to keep up. The movie is often bleak in its settings and its subject matter, but the characters are very real--they challenge you to challenge them. Their dysfunctions may enlighten you, and there is nothing bleak about being enlightened. Oh, and Ann-Margret achieves bombshell status with this movie, playing a woman who at first seems to be the answer to all of Nicholson's fantasies. "Bye Bye Birdie" it ain't.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Nasti on July 27, 2005
Format: DVD
One of the most controversial movies ever made, this early 1970s' masterpiece cemented the reputations of Jack Nicholson and Mike Nichols, proved that Art Garfunkel can act, gave Candice Bergen her big break, and turned Ann-Margret into a serious actress. Initially, "Carnal Knowledge" was greeted with mixed reactions, but over time has been considered groundbreaking in its frank portrayal of sexual relationships between two womanizing friends over a nearly 30 year period.

The film starts off in college, where two friends name Jonathan (Nicholson) and Sandy (Garfunkel) are roommates who dote on sex and nothing else. When Sandy meets Susan (Bergen) at mixer, he is immediately smitten with her, as is Jonathan, who takes her under his own wing. A few years go by as we see Sandy become involved with Jennifer (Carol Kane). Finally, Jonathan falls in love with the beautiful, and, yes, busty Bobbie (Ann-Margret, who deservedly got an Oscar nomination for her role). Their relationship becomes rougher as years go by, culminating in one of Nicholson's greatest fits of rage ever, matched by Ann's emotional breakdown as she begs him to marry her. The film seems to be very crowded, but the plot unfolds so smoothly, you never get a sense of "gosh, I wanna shut this off because I don't understand it", since every storyline in it grabs you and never lets go.

The performances in this film are perfect. Nicholson gives one of his best performances ever as Jonathan, while Ann-Margret gives what may well be her single greatest performance of her career. It was great to see these two perform together, as Nicholson is my favorite actor and Ann my favorite actress. The two play off each other so well that they make the film watchable for their chemistry alone.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on September 2, 2005
Format: DVD
This movie traces the male attitude toward sexual relations from the 1940s to the late '60s. Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel are the two male friends who are college roomies, fall in love with the same girl, and then go their separate ways. Nicholson is the women-hating, unable-to-become-committed one, who ends up impotent except when told how masculine and tough he is. Garfunkel never knows who he is or what he wants, and although he gets the right girl in college, throws it all away later on. A depressing look at this situation, to be sure (over the 20 years dealt with in the film, things only go from bad to worse to awful), but fairly on target, and again Nicholson as the male monster is excellent. Though somewhat outdated, the movie is perceptive and well done. Worth a watch.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on July 31, 2006
Format: DVD
The comedy isn't broad enough to make repeat viewings of CARNAL KNOWLEDGE very much fun, the characters are too riddled with the flaws and twisted desires of genuine people to make them great personalities, and the dysfunction of the relationships hardly gets any "rooting interest" going for anyone--but this movie still feels funny and real over thirty-some years later.

The performances are great, the writing extremely sharp. Jack Nicholson's selfish hedonistic heel is hilarious and his pointy eyebrows and mischevious grins perfectly embody his character. From his bellowing tirades to his bitter but funny "slideshow," he's great fun to watch.

Art Garfunkel plays a great sad sack romantic and Candace Bergen brings a genuine depth to the girl torn between them.

If anyone stands out, it has to be Ann Margaret, baring body and soul in her role as Nicholson's sex kitten.

I've always believed that the 1970's was the last great period of movies. CARNAL KNOWLEDGE is one of the reasons why.
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