Carnal Knowledge
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"Maybe you're not supposed to like it with someone you love." With a script by satirist and cartoonist Jules Feiffer, Mike Nichols's Carnal Knowledge (1971) ruthlessly exposed the damage wrought by pre-1960s sexual mores. From their post-World War II college years at Amherst through the Vietnam era, buddies Jonathan (Jack Nicholson) and Sandy (Art Garfunkel) are a catalogue of male sexual dysfunction. Sensitive Sandy falls in love with and marries college sweetheart Susan (Candice Bergen) only to wonder years later if he missed out on finding the perfect sex/love partner.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A rather superficial and limited probe of American male sexual hypocrisies."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Stays within the universe of its characters, and inhabits it totally. And within that universe, men and woman fail to find sexual and personal happiness because they can't break through their patterns of treating each other as objects."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A pretentious and uneven provocative moralistic adult drama about coping with the "sexual revolution" among the middle-class males."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Misunderstood by critics and viewers, Nichols' satire of male chauvinism is by turns witty, provocative, funny, and depressing. The film was so controversial in 1971 that it went all the way to the Supreme Court for obscenity charges."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Uma interessante anŠlise sobre a sexualidade masculina e - o mais importante - a forma com que os průprios homens a enxergam."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"The picture has its moments of chilling insight, though essentially it is one more quaint early-70s stab at an American art cinema that never materialized."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"In addition to being the toughest comedy since Little Murders, and the most imaginative comedy since Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge represents a nearly ideal collaboration of directorial and writing talents."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Ah, the sweet smell of '70s American cinema when anything was possible."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Brilliant acting!"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"While one might applaud its intent, Carnal Knowledge succeeds only in being self-righteous and dull."
‑ , Film4
"This was never quite the major assault on sexism and male chauvinism it set itself up to be."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"... an acerbic and, in many ways, dispiriting portrait of masculinity and male sexuality in the post-World War II culture."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Deeply felt critique of middle-class sexual politics, and one of the better films of formerly interesting director Mike Nichols."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The perforances are impressive, but the freshness is gone."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Unnerving, upsetting and hard to forget"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for Carnal Knowledge on Rotten Tomatoes