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.
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.