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Movies: “Knife in the Water”

Oct. 27, 1963 - Today’s new film is “Knife in the Water,” a Polish-made drama with English subtitles, directed by Roman Polanski (left), which opens at the Beekman Theater on Second Avenue at 65th Street. The cast of the import includes Leon Niemszyk, Jolanta Umecka, and Zygmunt Malanowicz (right). The story deals with a husband and wife who are accompanied on a boating trip by a young male hitchhiker who spurs a number of escalating confrontations between the couple. “Knife in the Water” marks Polanski's debut as a feature-length director. Two of the actors (Umecka and Malanowicz) had virtually no previous professional acting experience. Being filmed on the water (in the Polish Masurian Lake District) and largely within the confines of a sailboat and life raft, the film was technically difficult. While the sailboat was large enough for the three actors, it was quite cramped for the film crew, who often had to hang over the side of the boat with safety harnesses in order to shoot. “Knife in the Water” was filmed in 1961 and was released theatrically in Poland on March 9, 1962.


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