The Knack ...and How to Get It
|The Knack …and How to Get It|
|Directed by||Richard Lester|
|Produced by||Oscar Lewenstein|
|Written by||Charles Wood|
|Music by||John Barry|
|Editing by||Antony Gibbs|
|Studio||Woodfall Film Productions|
|Distributed by||United Artists Corporation|
|Release date(s)||3 June 1965|
|Running time||85 minutes|
|Box office||$2.5 million (US)|
The Knack …and How to Get It is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Richard Lester based on the play by Ann Jellicoe. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 15th Berlin International Film Festival. It received the Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association.
The film depicts the sexual competition among three roommates — the aggressive, womanizing drummer Tolen (Ray Brooks), the shy, paranoid schoolteacher Colin (Michael Crawford), and the neutral artist Tom (Donal Donnelly) — when a young woman from out of town, Nancy (Rita Tushingham), enters their London world.
- Rita Tushingham as Nancy Jones
- Ray Brooks as Tolen
- Michael Crawford as Colin
- Donal Donnelly as Tom
- William Dexter as Dress Shop Owner
- Charles Dyer as Man in Photo Booth
- Margot Thomas as Female Teacher
- John Bluthal as Angry Father
- Helen Lennox as Girl in Photo Booth
- Wensley Pithey as Teacher
- Edgar Wreford as Man in Phone Booth
- Frank Sieman as Surveyor
- Bruce Lacey as Surveyor's Assistant
- George Chisholm as Left Luggage Porter
- Peter Copley as Picture Owner
- Timothy Bateson as Junkyard Owner
- Dandy Nichols as Tom's Landlady
- Kenneth Farrington as Guardsman
History and reputation
Making the film immediately after working with The Beatles on A Hard Day's Night and just before Help!, Lester made major changes to the play, adding his own touch through direct address, unexpected oddly-edited sequences, humorous subtitles, and a Greek chorus of disapproving members of "the older generation". Talking about the film in the 1980s, actor Ray Brooks said:
|“||He’s a very visual man...They reckon that you could take any frame from Help, The Knack, and A Hard Day’s Night and you could put it on the cover of Time/Life. Everything was so beautifully shot."||”|
Lester himself makes a brief cameo as an annoyed bystander. John Barry contributed the jazzy score which features a memorable organ solo by Alan Haven. Charlotte Rampling, Jacqueline Bisset, and Jane Birkin all made their first cinematic appearances in the film as extras.
According to the Time Out Film Guide (reviewing the film in contemporary times), the movie is a "patchily funny but generally dated and embarrassing Swinging Sixties tale... A misogynistic basis for comedy, not redeemed by the moralistic and predictable ending."
- Michael Deeley, Blade Runners, Deer Hunters and Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: My Life in Cult Movies, Pegasus Books, 2009 p 31
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company The Changed the Film Industry, Uni of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p 245
- "Festival de Cannes: The Knack …and How to Get It". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "IMDB.com: Awards for The Knack ...and How to Get It". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
- Ray Brooks interview by Chris Hunt
- John Pym (ed.) Time Out Film Guide 2009, London: Penguin, 2008, p.576
- The Knack ...and How to Get It at the Internet Movie Database
- The Knack...and How to Get It at AllRovi
- The Knack ...and How to Get It at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cannes profile