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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 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
- Wanda Ventham as Gym Mistress
- Julian Holloway as Guardsman
- Ken 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. Jane Birkin, Charlotte Rampling, and Jacqueline Bisset all made their first cinematic appearances in the film as extras, together with Top of the Pops disc girl Samantha Juste.
- 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 That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 245
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- Ray Brooks interview by Chris Hunt
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- The Knack...and How to Get It at AllMovieScript error: No such module "EditAtWikidata".Script error: No such module "Error".
- The Knack ...and How to Get It at Rotten Tomatoes