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Carnal Knowledge Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

Still hot from the success of Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson solidified his reputation as the brightest star of the New Hollywood movement when he appeared in this 1971 drama, written by Jules Feiffer and directed by Mike Nichols. The film received mixed reviews, but remains fascinating for its subject matter--the sexual attitudes and activities of two male friends from their college days to middle age--and the performances of its stellar cast. Nicholson is the former athlete-turned-tax-lawyer with a fetish for well-endowed women (which explains why Ann-Margret plays his mistress), and Art Garfunkel is the shy, mild-mannered one who becomes a doctor, marries Candice Bergen, and has an affair with Carol Kane. Over the course of nearly 30 years, we see how their lives and attitudes are reflected through their sexual histories, and it's not pretty. The film deals frankly (and some will say depressingly) with the ways in which people use each other for sex, and this doesn't exactly make for rousing (or even arousing) entertainment. But with Nichols directing a cast of this caliber, Carnal Knowledge remains one of the signature films of the early Super70s, when established Hollywood traditions were giving way to the emergence of more daring films with bolder "adult" themes.

Academy Awards

Carnal Knowledge received an Academy Awards nomination for Supporting Actress (Ann-Margret).

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Mike Nichols

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Art Garfunkel, Ann-Margret, Rita Moreno, Carol Kane

Released: June 30, 1971

Availability: DVD VHS


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