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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Knife in the Water" )

 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/polanski.htm

Poland 1962

Roman Polanski's first feature immediately established him as a filmmaker to be reckoned with, winning top honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination, and a place on the cover of Time in conjunction with the first New York Film Festival. Polanski's career-long fascination with human cruelty and violence is already evident, as is his intense interest in exploring the complex tensions involved in close relations.


When Andrzej (Niemczyk), a successful sportswriter on holiday with his wife, Christine (Umecka), picks up a hitchhiker (Malanowicz), the couple asks the young man (nameless throughout) to join them on a short boating excursion. Jealous of the blonde boy's youth and looks, Andrzej boasts of his physical prowess, faulting his guest's inexperience at sea. Tension between the men intensifies, with the pocket knife that represents the hitchhiker's particular skills lending a continual suggestion of violence and sexuality to the goings-on. Things eventually do get violent.

Filmed in black and white, this film is extremely assured, concise, and telling in its characterizations. KNIFE IN THE WATER is also notable in the career of another Polish filmmaker, co-scenarist Jerzy Skolimowski, who had already begun to direct, but emerged internationally in 1982 with the offbeat MOONLIGHTING. Some would argue that KNIFE IN THE WATER is a more interesting movie than any Polanski made in the west after leaving his native land. Brilliantly told and well-acted, Polanski's half tongue-in-cheek, lugubrious and sinister filmic style seemed quite refreshing at the time.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 9th, 1962 - Poland

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Comparison:

Criterion- Region 0 - NTSC vs. DVDY Films - Region 2- PAL vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL vs. Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Thanks to Gregory Meshman, Bill McAlpine and Kevin Tran for the DVD Screen Captures!

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL THIRD

4) Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Also available in Screenbound's Roman Polanski Blu-ray boxset with Repulsion, Cul De Sac and Knife in the Water:

Distribution Criterion
Region 1 - NTSC

DVDY Films (France)

Region 2  - PAL

Anchor Bay
Region 2 - PAL
Screenbound
Region FREE - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without any extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:34:22 approx. 1:30:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:30:22 (4% PAL speedup) 1:34:08.333
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1.00 Original aspect ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.12 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,733,397,290 bytes

Feature: 16,098,035,712 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Bitrate: Screenbound
Region FREE - Blu-ray

Audio Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) , Polish (Dolby Digital 5.1) , Polish (DTS) 

LPCM Audio Polish 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None French (non-removable) English, None English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Video interview with director Roman Polanski and co-screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski
• A collection of rare publicity and production stills
• English subtitle translation by Roman Polanski
• A collection of Roman Polanski's short films from 1957-1962 including:
• Teethful Smile
• Two Men and a Wardrobe
• The Lamp
• The Fat and the Thin Man
• Mammals
• Let's Break Up the Ball
• When the Angels Fall
• Murder


DVD Release Date: September 30th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Distribution: DVDY Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original 1.33:1

Single Layered

No extras


DVD Release Date: July 1, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original 1.33:1

Edition Details:


Original 4:3 full frame version
Original Polish Mono, DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio Options
English Subtitles
'A Ticket to the West' - An all-new featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Poster and Stills Gallery
Collector's Booklet

 

DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio:
Screenbound

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,733,397,290 bytes

Feature: 16,098,035,712 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
Polanski Polish Short:
• Murder (1:28)
• Teethful Smile (1:53)
• The Lamp (7:29)
• Let's Break the Ball (7:54)
• When the Angels Fall (20:50)
• The Mammal (10:29)
• Two Men and a Wardrobe (14:20)
• Ticket to the West (30:37)
• The Southbank Show - interview with Polanski (41:32)
• Russell Harty interview with Polanski (28:01)
• Clive James Meets Polanski (46:40)
• Repulsion original theatrical trailer (2:40)
• Cul-De-Sac original theatrical trailer (5:38)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 24th, 2017
Black Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 2017: This is also available in Screenbound's Roman Polanski Blu-ray boxset with Repulsion, Cul De Sac and Knife in the Water.

The Screenbound transfer has some questionable visuals in the beginning 5 minutes with some minor edge-enhancement (which may very well be on the source) but soon settles into being a decent 1080P - in advance of the 14-year old DVDs. It is on a single-layered disc and not a high bitrate but the source density seems adequately supported by the HD. I think it's imperfect but detail rises, contrast is more layered and there is frequent depth. Grain is a bit blotchy but exists. There are a very few speckles but the image quality is passable with only dual-layering and a digital restoration advancing beyond this Blu-ray's home theater presentation.

Jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda's score is brilliant - relaxing, hyper cool and brooding it gains some notable prominence with a lossless linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps (16-bit). It is an atmospheric part of the presentation and comes across authentically flat but with some perceived depth in uncompressed. One other issues; the optional English subtitles sometimes leave gaps (mostly at the beginning) and seem incomplete at times. It was only for short or repeated dialogue and it didn't effect following the film. It didn't appear to be anything important that was missed. This has been tested and is a Region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Re: The subtitle gaps: From our FB Group Michael Brooke tells us "If they’re at the start, this may well be at Polanski’s own request: the Polish censors forced him to add some additional dialogue, and in revenge he asked for it not to be subtitled in English. There is at least one Polanski-authorised version of 'Knife in the Water' that deliberately doesn't subtitle dialogue that he originally had to include under duress. If I remember rightly, this is mostly at the beginning in the car, but there may be other examples later on....

Although the biggest loss for English-speakers is that no English-friendly edition of 'Knife in the Water' has done anything close to justice to the radio sports commentary, scripted and performed by Jerzy Skolimowski but apparently pretty much untranslatable beyond its basic factual essence - but Polish friends tell me that it's crammed with elaborate wordplay and references that non-Poles are most unlikely ever to get.....

...sounds like the Polanski-approved version. He didn't want you to understand that dialogue, because he didn't want to include it in the first place.

It's not often that filmmakers themselves ask for a less than full translation, but another example is Danièle Huillet, who specifically requested that the subtitles on 'Class Relations' were minimal to the point of only conveying absolute essentials, her theory being that this would force us to listen to and process the original German even if we didn't fully understand it.

And virtually all the German dialogue at the end of 'Diamonds of the Night' is left unsubtitled at Jan Němec's request - he pointed out that his Czech protagonists wouldn't be able to understand what their German captors were saying, so the viewer shouldn't either. (Unless they understand German, of course, but that's a risk that he had to take.)
." (Thanks Michael!)

Extras vault this Blu-ray to a higher level. Like the Criterion DVD, there are some Polanski Short films from the late 50s. The eight selections ranging from tghe dialogue-less Murder and Teethful Smile running less than 2-minutes each to Ticket to the West running 1/2 hour (NOT on the Criterion). In total about 1 hour 20-minutes worth. Most be more appreciative of the three interviews - 42-minutes on The Southbank Show, with Russell Harty for 1/2 hour, and a 3/4 hour piece entitled Clive James Meets Polanski where they dine together and chat. There is a Repulsion and Cul-De-Sac original theatrical trailers.

I'll eventually cover the other Blu-ray titles in this boxset, but as a stand-alone release (making the assumption most Polanski fans already own the Criterion's Cul-de-sac Blu-ray that is available in both the US and UK). Pleasing HD video, uncompressed audio,  great extras here - still a great film!

P.S. BTW, How about Polanski's The Tenant on Blu-ray?

***

ON THE DVDs: Well, most can quickly discount the DVDY edition as it has no English subtitles. Its picture quality is also much poorer compared to the other two version. The DVD has some visible contrast boosting and is not as sharp as the Criterion or the Anchor Bay.

The brighter and sharper Criterion appears to be the winner in picture quality with a nice grain-filled perfectly contrasted image. Anchor Bay's quality is pretty good and if you are keen on the other two films (and shorts) in the Boxset (Cul-de-sac and Repulsion) there is no crime in owning it and not the Criterion. Personally I think Knife in the Water is the best film so some aficionados may want to splurge for the Criterion (and shorts). Bottom line: For this film Criterion has the best image.

Interesting to note that the Criterion and Anchor Bay are slightly cropped on the top edge and the DVDY is cropped on the bottom.               

- Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC
LEFT vs. DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 

Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample: Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs.

2) DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL THIRD

4) Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs.

2) DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL THIRD

4) Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs.

2) DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL THIRD

4) Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs.

2) DVDY Films - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - PAL THIRD

4) Screenbound - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Also available in Screenbound's Roman Polanski Blu-ray boxset with Repulsion, Cul De Sac and Knife in the Water:

Distribution Criterion
Region 1 - NTSC

DVDY Films (France)

Region 2  - PAL

Anchor Bay
Region 2 - PAL
Screenbound
Region FREE - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without any extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...