Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  August 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,707 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 23 critic

An airline pilot, dumped by his girlfriend, pursues a baby-sitter in his hotel...and gradually realizes she's dangerous.


(as Roy Baker)


(screenplay), (novel)
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Complete credited cast:
Jed Towers
Lyn Lesley
Donna Corcoran ...
Bunny Jones
Jeanne Cagney ...
Ruth Jones
Eddie Forbes
Peter Jones
Mrs. Ballew
Joe the Bartender (as Willis B. Bouchey)
Mr. Ballew
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emmett Vogan ...
Toastmaster (unconfirmed)


Airline pilot Jed stays at the New York hotel where girlfriend Lyn is a singer. He sees Nell in a window opposite his and they get chummy. When the girl she's baby-sitting, Bunny, enters Nell goes crazy and sends her to her room. She fantasizes that Jed is her long lost fiance. Jed comes to realize that Nell is more than a little whacko. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHE'S DYNAMITE! It Opens the Door on the Screen's Most Exciting New Personality---MARILYN MONROE See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mischief  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is the Hollywood film debut of British director Roy Baker. See more »


When Lyn and Jed get photographed in the bar by the camera lady, she snaps only one picture of them. When she brings the novelty items (handkerchief, matchbook, ashtray, and postcard) to their booth minutes later, the handkerchief shows a slightly different pose than the others. See more »


[first lines]
Mrs. Emma Ballew: After all, we guests who live here from year to year, we deserve a little consideration, too.
See more »


Referenced in 42nd Street Forever: XXX-Treme Special Edition (2007) See more »


How Blue the Night
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Sung by Anne Bancroft or dubber over speaker
See more »

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User Reviews

The Babysitter and the Flyer
5 December 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This is an odd film, if only for its credits. It was written by Daniel Taradash, a first-rate screenwriter who the next year would write the screenplay for From Here To Eternity. The director, Englishman Roy Ward Baker, had a varied and eclectic career, mostly in his native country, where he directed, among other films, A Night To Remember and Quatermass and the Pit. Screen sexpot Marilyn Monroe plays a psychotic babysitter who encounters a tough-minded and cynical airline pilot and causes him to change his outlook. Miss Monroe was not known for doing drama, which she plays here, in black and white no less, and is excellent. But that this was one of her first starring roles she seems a peculiar choice to play the troubled young woman. Richard Widmark, often a bad guy, is here only partly bad, and is proficient but rather dull and, for him, colorless. Dramatic actress Anne Bancroft plays a singer, and Widmark's girl, a role one might have expected Marilyn to play. And so it goes.

The movie is compelling, if never really entertaining, and seems at times as confused as Monroe's babysitter as to what sort of film it wants to be. It is a bit of a psychological drama, a bit of a thriller. filmed like a noir, studio-bound, which makes it also unrealistic, it is in many respects a mess, but a watchable one. The central set of the hotel in which nearly all the action takes place, is impressive, as are the various characters who either live, visit or work there, who at times seem like inhabitants of an enormous cave or reef, and as such denizens of the place rather than employees or guests. There is a nice sense of how dull night life can be in the heart of a supposedly exciting city (New York). There are no especially good or bad people in the film; just those who understand Monroe's plight, and empathize with her, and those that don't. Young Marilyn more than rises to the dramatic occasion, however, and gives a fine performance, far more worthy than the script, and more animated than her co-stars, and in the end steals the film and our hearts.

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