One of the most controversial movies of its time, this “thought-provoking” (Leonard Maltin) comedy-drama from legendary director Mike Nichols 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 Oscar 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 fascination and obsession with 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 that in the war of the sexes, they are their own worst enemy. –MGM
Mike Nichols (born Nov. 6, 1931, Berlin, Ger.) American motion-picture and stage director whose productions focus on the absurdities and horrors of modern life as revealed in personal relationships.
Nichols immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of seven. He attended the University of Chicago (1950–53), studied acting under Lee Strasberg in New York City, and then returned to Chicago, where, with Elaine May, Shelley Berman, Barbara Harris, and Paul Sills, he formed the comic improvisational group The Compass Players. Nichols and May then traveled nationwide with their social-satire routines, and from 1960 to 1961 they performed on Broadway in An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
Nichols made his Broadway directorial debut with the highly praised Barefoot in the Park (1963) and went on to direct a series of commercially and critically successful Broadway plays, many written by Neil Simon. He won Tony awards for Barefoot in the Park, Luv (1964… read more
I'm surprised this is not considered a classic. The casting, the dialogue, the direction, the concept itself of this film, everything is brilliant. And even though it is set in the 70s, it is still very true about the relationship between the two sexes.
Incredibly and despicably cynic, and also quite true, because that's exactly how we talk about the opposite sex, one of us is either Nicholson or Garfunkel. The tone is fascinating, directing and acting-wise, Nichols' mise en scene borrows heavily from Italian psychosexual dramas and french nouvelle vague. A great approach, attack, pulverization and then rebuilding of a man's ego.