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The Knack... And How to Get It

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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: #215,176 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

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?


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

Customer Reviews

On DVD the film looks great even with so few extra features.
Jonathan P. Walters
That Rita Tushingham nearly manages to pull off her character credibly is a credit to her talent.
Michael Harbour
This film won the Palm d'Or (best picture) at Cannes in 1965.
Gary W. McClintock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan P. Walters on October 19, 2002
Format: DVD
...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 By sean memolo on 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 By Gary W. McClintock on October 4, 2002
Format: DVD
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 By raoul de la cruz on 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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