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3.8
823 Ratings

Carnal Knowledge

Directed by Mike Nichols
United States, 1971
Drama

Synopsis

Mike Nichols’ Carnal Knowledge traces the sexual and emotional confusion of two men (Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel) from their Amherst College days in the fifties through the Kennedy sixties, up to the Vietnam era.

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Carnal Knowledge Directed by Mike Nichols

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1972 | Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Writers Guild of America

1972 | Nominee: Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (Screen)

Golden Globes (USA)

1972 | Winner: Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture

1972 | 2 nominations including: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1971 | 3rd place: Best Supporting Actress

What are people saying?

  • Mcpeer's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    One of Nichols best and one of my favorite films of the 70's. Brilliant performances and direction. A fearless film about sex, desires, and fantasy. Carnal Knowledge depicts sex in a revolutionary way, not just as human behavior, but the way it shapes who we are and what one values in life.

  • Konrad Szlendak's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Brilliant concept, you can see clearly Italian New Wave influences, but the best are dialogue lines - I had a lot of fun here. Nicholson is really good, not as good as in "Five Easy Pieces", but still does an outstanding job by pulling off this complexity of character. Still, my salute goes mainly to the script!

  • Phil Worfel's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Devastating at every turn. It's enough to put you off of romance for a good year. Perfectly cast and executed. Enormously cynical about sex and relationships but in the best possible way. Incredible performances from Nicholson, and Ann-Margaret (what the crap is with the hyphen in her name?) and the final scene is stunning.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Men and women still haven't learned how to communicate. The problems remain the same, despite the changes brought on by the sexual revolution. It's just difficult to get along. This is probably Ann-Margaret's finest performance.

  • José Neves's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Digital file, projected on Cinemateca's biggest screen, re-rated. A clever object of cinematographic gaze on the teatralization of an overly male-chauvinistic text but intrinsically undermined by a look that turns everything into an object of formal (self)analysis. Again the actresses prove to be far superior to their peers, not only Ann-Margret and Bergen, excellent, but also the always forgotten Rita Moreno.

  • Addy K.'s rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Pay close attention to CARNAL KNOWLEDGE. It hides surreal delights in plain sight. Dream girl Candice Bergen literally emerges out of a pool of blackness, walking right past Garfunkel and Nicholson who, I suspect, play the same person. Both scheme to take her; but soon as they do, neither one is satisfied. And so this pattern repeats—as their insatiable appetite for 'perfection' gobbles up more feminine archetypes.

  • Zac Weber's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Perhaps the taboo feels dated and at times dull, but the satirization of masculinity still feels fresh. The acting was brilliant, particularly Nicholson, Garfunkel, and Cynthia O'Neal (Cindy). I couldn't help but notice the piercing way Jonathan and Sandy look at each other in a number of scenes. The subtly of their relationship is juxtaposed with their extremely divergent views on women.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Carnal Knowledge

    Nichols' interest in characters' desire (love, lust, connection) in relation to their lack of integrity is exculpated further in 'Closer'. However, the theatrical quality of CK's three-point lighting and utilising of dramatic irony elevates this 70s gem where casual misogyny ("ball-busters") highlight Nicholson's and Garfunkel's jealous versions of 'masculinity', from the duplicitous player and the sensitive thinker.

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