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The Knack... And How to Get It (1965)

Rita Tushingham , Ray Brooks , Richard Lester  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Price: $17.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rita Tushingham, Ray Brooks, Michael Crawford, Donal Donnelly, William Dexter
  • Directors: Richard Lester
  • Writers: Ann Jellicoe, Charles Wood
  • Producers: Leigh Aman, Michael Deeley, Oscar Lewenstein
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000069HZV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,854 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Knack... And How to Get It" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Fresh from the playfully exuberant A Hard Day's Night (1964), director Richard Lester applies the same acrobatic, tongue-in-cheek style to this delightfully frivolous take on swinging London and the sexual revolution. Gawky young Michael Crawford is a meek landlord who vies with his ladies-man lodger Ray Brooks for the attentions of spirited funny-face Rita Tushingham, whom he literally picks up while pushing his new brass bed through the streets of London. Lester floats his sweet nothing of a goofy romance with an offbeat sense of humor, a compendium of sight gags and non sequiturs stirred in with devil-may-care spirit, and a pair of winning leads. Crawford's underdog desperation and endearing naiveté makes for an appealingly nerdish hero, but it's Tushingham's kooky charm and deft comic delivery that steal the film. A lovely score by John Barry balances the energy and invention with a tender romanticism. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

You either have it or you don't. The knack, that is, of seduction! From the director of the Beatles movies A Hard Day's Night and Help! comes this inventive and hilarious (Time) romp through love and sex in 1960's London. Featuring Richard Lester's frenetic filmmaking stylecareening from slapstick to serious to avant-gardethis genuinely dazzling (Los Angeles Times) film is a mod masterpiece! Cool and sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizingwith a long line of conquests to prove itwhile the naïve and awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece of it. But when Colin falls for an innocent country girl (Rita Tushingham), it's not long before the self-assured Tolen moves in for the kill. Is all fair in love and war, or can Colin get the knack and beat Tolen at his own game?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WE ARE ALL, MORE OR LESS, SEXUAL FALURES... October 19, 2002
...So Tom tells us about half way through "The Knack...and how to get it". Whether he speaks for the other characters or for humanity as a whole the viewers have to decide for themselves but it is just the sort of thing that keeps you guessing in this amazing film.
When someone askes me to name my favourite film I usually say "The Knack...and how to get it" which is almost always met with a puzzled look in responce; so few people have seen this movie, even though it won the main prize at Cannes the year it was made and was a popular and commercial success across the world, that you might be forgiven for thinking that perhaps it had been surpressed or maybe overtaken by fashion that lumped all the "Swinging London" films together and forgot them. Either way I think it is a neglected clasic that deserves wider recognision.
Taken from a not very successful play by Ann Jellicoe, that ran at the Royal Court experimental theatre for six weeks about a year before it was filmed, Charles Wood's screenplay expanded the action away from the run-down house, which is at the centre of the play, to use London as the backdrop for the film; not tourist London but the back streets and slightly run down areas of Shepherd's Bush. The true masterstoke was to give the running commentary by the old people on what the four main (young) characters are up to. This babble is so typical of the British attitude to sex sensorious, but at the same time obsessed and slightly regretting that they haven't done it themselves that it is hillarious. This aspect of the film is clearly influenced by Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" but used here it takes on it's own identity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An example of an extinct film: the smart comedy November 4, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is great in the grand sense of the word. The cast is superb, the gags are funny, and it is among the most stylish films I've ever seen. Other reasons to see it:
1) Rita Tushingham stars---Tushingham is gorgeous in an unconventional way, and is known for being a gay icon---the first leading lady who preferred the company of gay men over straight.
2) A young Michael Crawford in a hilarious performance
3) Swinging London portrayed in a non-cliched manner.
4) The film in its entirety (cast, script, setting, cinematography and wardrobe)is more "hip" and avant-garde than anything I've ever seen---and it was done forty years ago.
If you are a fan of smart comedy, hip fashion and lifestyles, or just great cult films, you must have it. If you are none of these, you probably won't get. Let it be known---Lester, who is known most for A Hard Day's Night, surpassed that film tenfold in making The Knack...and How To Get It.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mods and Rockers Indeed October 4, 2002
Since everybody and his brother is out reviewing the recent re-release of Hard Day's Night (including people who cannot tell John from Paul!) I thought I'd review Richard Lester's other great film instead.
Richard Lester obviously learned to tell a joke at the knee of Spike Milligan. It's a shame that the television shows he directed for Milligan (and Peter Sellers) in the 1950s haven't survived the BBC's notorious indifference to posterity. This makes it even more important that MGM has again made available this film that is now so politically incorrect I long ago concluded it was being surpressed.
This film won the Palm d'Or (best picture) at Cannes in 1965. It has more brilliant silent sight gags than most any three Buster Keaton pictures combined yet has so much verbal wit that you'll likely be back to watch the film at least three times, just to make sure you really got it all, which I'm not certain is really possible. The running commentary on youth by the older generation is one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard (and I am amazed I've never seen anyone steal the idea for a lesser picture.) Listen carefully to the broken dialog in the teacher's lounge where a spinsterish teacher worries no one wants to rape her and a boorish old male teacher reminisces over once hitting an unruly student right up the nose with a piece of chalk. The sight gags are more obvious, usually broad though occasionally subtle, with large parts of the film having no dialog at all, such as the sequence pushing the old bed frame across London, the sequence with which the film is most frequently identified (note that the bed turns white when they get pulled through a car wash).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mod must-have! November 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
i first saw this film back in the mid 80's. i was in high school then. i remember not really "getting" the film, but that i really enjoyed it, especially the music, the fashion, and the energy. i saw it that one time (on pbs, believe it or not) and i had been looking for this film for a long time. i'd forgoten about it until recently. now that i finally have my own copy, i can see that i didn't "get" it the first time because it was all just some energetic mod absurdity! this film is so much fun....impress all your hipster friends and get this film. if you're a fan of quadrophenia, to sir with love, or a hard days night (richard lester directed this film and that famous beatle one) you must add this to your collection! this needs to be on DVD!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars not suitable domestic use here in Italy
It can only be seen on a computer with an adequate SW installed. Does not show on my DVD reader.

High cost of shipping
Published 2 months ago by Luigi Conti
3.0 out of 5 stars The holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall? Here they are! In...
This lovely dated movie holds the answer to one of the most enduring Beatles mysteries, to wit: Just how many holes does it take to fill the Albert Hall? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stephen Foster
2.0 out of 5 stars Absurdist classic falls flat on its dolly-bird face
Blimey! While this Richard (the Beatles! the Musketeers! Robin and Marian!) Lester film is chock full of period slang and locations and fashions, it utterly fails to captivate... Read more
Published 10 months ago by R.L. Holly
2.0 out of 5 stars Sandwiched within the naive and frivolous fun is a vile disrespect for...
Some fine performances, sets, cinematography and amusing sequences. Sandwiched within the naive and frivolous fun, though, is a vile disrespect for women that goes even beyond what... Read more
Published on November 24, 2011 by Michael Harbour
5.0 out of 5 stars Mod and Marvelous
'The Knack' is a mood piece centering on the hapless Colin (played by a young Michael Crawford), who watches the succession of women flowing in and out of his flatmate's (Ray... Read more
Published on February 11, 2011 by holly culbreath
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad For What It Is!
This movie has ranked number 5 in my top ten favorite movie list! I really enjoy watching it! It nothing like "A Hard Day's Night" or "How I Won the War", but I think it special... Read more
Published on April 29, 2006
3.0 out of 5 stars Most of the fizz is flat
Forty years on the once scintillating British comedies of Richard Lester have lost a lot of their fizz. Read more
Published on July 25, 2005 by James M. Shertzer
2.0 out of 5 stars The score is very good
This movie is of its time and has not aged well. It's a not very vivid portrayal of the swinging sixties in London, with four uninvolving characters spewing bizarre non-sequiturs... Read more
Published on May 7, 2005 by artanis65
3.0 out of 5 stars Lest we forget...
... just what it really was like in "The Swinging Sixties" watch this DVD and remember... what? How much fun it was to do really whacky things just for the sake of it. Read more
Published on March 31, 2005 by nicjaytee
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sixties "Arty-Fact"
Forty years after its release, it's hard to imagine how new and fresh this film was. Borrowing heavily from the French New Wave in terms of look and feel, the film and its... Read more
Published on February 1, 2005 by Mr. C Coulson
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