IMDb > Knock on Any Door (1949)
Knock on Any Door
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Knock on Any Door (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Daniel Taradash (screenplay) &
John Monks Jr. (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Knock on Any Door on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 March 1949 (USA) See more »
Andrew Morton is an attorney who made it out of the slums. Nick Romano is his client, a young man with a long string of crimes behind him... See more » | Add synopsis »
(6 articles)
Deadline – U.S.A.
 (From Trailers from Hell. 2 September 2016, 1:44 PM, PDT)

Don’T Bother To Knock (1952)
 (From Trailers from Hell. 11 April 2016, 9:20 AM, PDT)

The Essentials: 5 Great Films By Nicholas Ray
 (From The Playlist. 15 June 2012, 10:51 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Better As a Romance Than a Crime Drama See more (45 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Humphrey Bogart ... Andrew Morton

John Derek ... Nick Romano

George Macready ... Dist. Atty. Kerman

Allene Roberts ... Emma
Candy Toxton ... Adele Morton (as Susan Perry)

Mickey Knox ... Vito

Barry Kelley ... Judge Drake
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Florence Auer ... Aunt Lena (uncredited)

Vince Barnett ... Carl Swanson - Bartender (uncredited)
Theda Barr ... Girl (uncredited)
Richard Bartell ... Reporter (uncredited)
Paul Baxley ... Policeman (uncredited)
Joan Baxter ... Maria Romano (uncredited)

Eddie Borden ... The Chef in Poolroom / Court Spectator (uncredited)
Hazel Boyne ... Woman (uncredited)
Joe Brockman ... Man (uncredited)

Argentina Brunetti ... Ma Romano (uncredited)
Charles Camp ... Waiter (uncredited)

George Chandler ... Cashier (uncredited)
Jack Clisby ... Policeman (uncredited)
Chuck Colean ... Man (uncredited)
Lorraine Comerford ... Teenager in Courtroom (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Nightclub Dance Extra (uncredited)

Chester Conklin ... Barber (uncredited)
Jimmy Conlin ... Kid Fingers Carnahan (uncredited)
Connie Conrad ... Woman (uncredited)
Curt Conway ... Ed Elkins (uncredited)
Carol Coombs ... Angie Romano (uncredited)

Anne Cornwall ... Woman (uncredited)
Joan Danton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Homer Dickenson ... Jury Member (uncredited)

Dudley Dickerson ... Bootblack (uncredited)
Joe Dougherty ... Man (uncredited)
Sidney Dubin ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Ann Duncan ... Teenager in Courtroom (uncredited)
Mary Emery ... Jury Member (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Reformatory Guard (uncredited)

Sam Flint ... Prison Warden (uncredited)

Jody Gilbert ... Gussie (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Detective Interrogating Suspect (uncredited)

William Haade ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Suspect (uncredited)
Betty Hall ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Joy Hallward ... Jury Member (uncredited)

Chuck Hamilton ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Roberta Haynes ... Woman (uncredited)

Myron Healey ... Assistant District Attorney (uncredited)
Cliff Heard ... Man (uncredited)
Pepe Hern ... Juan Rodríguez (uncredited)
George Hickman ... Detective (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Detective Interrogating Romano (uncredited)
Wesley Hopper ... Boss (uncredited)

John Indrisano ... Man (uncredited)
Jack Jahries ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Ray Johnson ... Man (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Paul Kreibich ... Man (uncredited)

Jane Lee ... Woman (uncredited)

Dewey Martin ... Butch (uncredited)

Sid Melton ... 'Squint' Zinsky (uncredited)
Eda Reiss Merin ... Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Merlo ... Bailiff (uncredited)

John Mitchum ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Detective (uncredited)

Helen Mowery ... Miss Holiday (uncredited)
Gordon Nelson ... Corey - Lawyer (uncredited)
Garry Owen ... Larry - Barber (uncredited)

Netta Packer ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Joe Palma ... Reporter (uncredited)

Eddie Parker ... Reformatory Guard (uncredited)
Beulah Parkington ... Woman (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Man (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Policeman (uncredited)
Rose Plumer ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Ed Randolph ... Reporter (uncredited)

Davis Roberts ... Jim 'Sunshine' Jackson (uncredited)
Franz Roehn ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Dick Sinatra ... Julian Romano (uncredited)
Mabel Smaney ... Jury Member (uncredited)

Houseley Stevenson ... Junior (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Policeman on Street (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Man (uncredited)
Thomas Sully ... Officer Dan Hawkins (uncredited)
Tex Swan ... Man (uncredited)
Betty Taylor ... Woman (uncredited)
Glen Thompson ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sid Tomack ... Duke the Fence (uncredited)
Evelyn Underwood ... Jury Member (uncredited)

Dorothy Vernon ... Knitter (uncredited)
Peter Virgo ... Suspect (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Bailiff (uncredited)

Pierre Watkin ... Purcell - Lawyer (uncredited)

Blackie Whiteford ... Suspect Without Shirt (uncredited)

Cara Williams ... Nelly Watkins (uncredited)
Sumner Williams ... Jimmy (uncredited)

Dooley Wilson ... Piano Player (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Man (uncredited)

Jeff York ... Man (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
Writing credits
Daniel Taradash (screenplay) &
John Monks Jr. (screenplay)

Willard Motley (from the novel "Knock On Any Door" by)

Produced by
Henry S. Kesler .... associate producer
Robert Lord .... producer
Original Music by
George Antheil 
Cinematography by
Burnett Guffey 
Film Editing by
Viola Lawrence 
Art Direction by
Robert Peterson 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director (as Arthur S. Black)
Sound Department
Frank Goodwin .... sound
Paul Baxley .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Gene Anderson .... camera operator
William Johnson .... gaffer (as Bill Johnson)
Walter Meins .... grip
Joseph Walters .... still photographer (as Joe Walters)
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Ernest Gold .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Frances McDowell .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

When Humphrey Bogart was told that director Nicholas Ray wanted to film the entire 'sentencing statement for the defense' sequence in a single take, Bogart was concerned because he had never delivered such a long speech without cuts and feared he couldn't do it. Ray calmed Bogart down, suggested several rehearsals, and much to Bogart's surprise, Ray rolled during the rehearsals filming most of what has become the famous and well-played sentencing sequence.See more »
Continuity: In court, when Morton stands up for the first time, he puts both hands in his pockets. The next shot shows him with only his left hand in the pocket.See more »
Junior:Good day, riff-raff.See more »
Movie Connections:


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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Better As a Romance Than a Crime Drama, 1 July 2006
Author: aimless-46 from Kentucky

"Knock on Any Door" (Columbia 1949), a combination courtroom drama and delinquent youth social statement, was Nicholas Ray's directorial debut. Humphrey Bogart plays lawyer Andrew Morton, one time street tough turned idealistic lawyer. Bogart's independent production company made the film shortly after he broke away from Warner Brothers. Bogart's part was originally intended for Marlon Brando, but Brando withdrew after the death of producer Mark Hellinger.

On the verge of becoming a partner in his big-time law firm, Morton is yanked out of his ivory tower and into the past by the need to defend accused murderer Pretty Boy Romano (John Derek), who he attempted to help when Romano was a petty teenage criminal. This is told in flashbacks with Romano repeating his credo: "live fast, die young, and have a good looking corpse". Probably the first film use of what has become a very tired expression. Morton carries a lot of guilty baggage into the trial. He blames himself for the imprisonment of Romano's father, an event that plunged the family into poverty and led to Romano's life of crime. Through the years he had tried to help Romano who had married a nice girl and attempted to go straight. But setbacks at work returned Romano to crime. Then his pregnant wife's suicide unhinged him and he killed a cop.

The "Knock on Any Door" expression refers to Morton's plea for leniency during the trial, as he blames the conditions in the slums and the affects of poverty for Romano's actions. Stating that behind any door are young men whose lives will be wasted unless they receive guidance and are assisted in becoming productive citizens.

"Knock on Any Door" provides a nice example of the unpredictability inherit in the film making business. A look at screenplay and cast would lead you to expect the film's strengths to be the Bogart-Derek scenes and the courtroom drama, with the romantic background story (told in flashbacks) a glaring weakness.

But the trial scenes which take up a substantial part of the film suffer from the usual procedural inaccuracies and are not particularly effective dramatically. Bogart pretty much plays his Captain Queeg character ("The Caine Mutiny") and spends more time whining than defending. The Bogart-Derek scenes are nothing special and there is no chemistry between the two actors. The narrative actually contradicts the theme of outrage over social inequities. The simplistic conclusions about social justice ring hollow and any sympathetic feelings toward Romano seem misplaced.

The production design is great. When combined with the haunting the black & white photography it makes for one of the best looking examples of the film noir genre.

What ultimately saves the film and actually makes it rather special is the romance between Romano and Emma (Allene Roberts). This unlikely character pairing (imagine James Dean's "Rebel" having a serious relationship with Melanie from "Gone With the Wind") somehow works as Roberts and Derek have a real chemistry together. And she introduces intangibles that are missing from the rest of the production. In addition, the relationship itself introduces a nice irony as it is the pressure to make Emma proud of him and to tangibly demonstrate his love that ultimately leads Romano back to crime.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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