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To honor Mike Nichols…watch “Carnal Knowlege”!

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” was Mike Nichols 1966 debut as a film director, and it received 13 Oscar nominations…one for every category it was eligible for (it won five)! “The Graduate” was his 1967 follow-up. No sophomore slump here…7 Academy Award nominations, including the Best Director win for Mr. Nichols. “The Graduate” spoke to a generation, and is still one of the most financially successful movies ever made. You’ve probably heard an awful lot about these two motion pictures the past few days, after the loss of the renowned Mr. Nichols on November the 19th at the age of 83. But how often have you experienced a mention of 1971’s “Carnal Knowledge”? It’s darker than “The Graduate”, and more biting and daring too. It’s also probably Nichols’ best film. “Carnal Knowledge” stars Jack Nicholson as Jonathan, and Art Garfunkel (yes, that Art Garfunkel) as Sandy. An impossibly sexy Ann-Margret is Bobbie (see scene above), and a 24-year-old Candice Bergen portrays Susan. It’s one of Nicholson’s greatest performances, and supplied Ann-Margret with her first Oscar nomination (she’d receive one more for “Tommy” four years later). “Carnal Knowledge” still seems fresh and cutting edge 43 years later…it’s even downright nasty at times. Never saw it? Rectify that NOW via your Netflix queue. And rest in peace, Mike Nichols…it was a helluva ride.

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