6.9/10
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76 user 27 critic

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | August 1952 (USA)
After being dumped by his girlfriend, an airline pilot pursues a babysitter in his hotel and gradually realizes she's dangerous.

Director:

(as Roy Baker)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jed Towers
...
...
Lyn Lesley
...
Bunny Jones
...
Rochelle
...
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)
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hungry for Love! A lonely guy...a girl on the make! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mischief  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Anne Bancroft's film debut. It was also Marilyn Monroe's 18th film and an attempt to prove to critics that she could act. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Version of The Sitter (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Lull in My Life
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Anne Bancroft, later played by The Rounders
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't tell mom the babysitter is NUTS
29 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Marilyn Monroe and Richard Widmark star in this early Monroe star vehicle. This is one film you'd never see being made today, due to the new child-care sensibilities. Jim Backus and Lorene Tuttle leave their child with a complete stranger while they go out for an evening. The stranger is Monroe, complete with wrist scars, who is the niece of the elevator man in the hotel where the couple is staying. Mid-evening, she picks up with Widmark, who is more upset about his lounge singer girlfriend (Anne Bancroft) breaking up with him than he thought he would be - he and Monroe flirt from their respective rooms. Widmark goes to the room, expecting a night of fun. Instead he and the hapless child get a night of terror, with Monroe believing Widmark is her dead pilot boyfriend and nearly killing not only the little girl but her uncle as well. Turns out, Marilyn's been institutionalized and her uncle (Elisha Cooke, Jr.) thought she was "nearly well." Monroe is very good in this - very beautiful, of course, as well as vulnerable and believable. The wild look in her eyes when she scolds the little girl is downright scary. One thing that has always bothered me about Monroe doing drama is her very excellent diction which always sounds studied and unnatural. It's a distraction in this film as well. However, she's so watchable in everything - the camera just adored her - I have to believe that as she lived and aged, she would have had more chances at drama.

Widmark is excellent as the apparent cynic who proves to have more to him than his girlfriend thought - in fact, his character was much better with the child than Monroe's; Bancroft's role is small and belies her future dramatic appearances; and there is a cameo by "Honeybee Gillis," Joan Blondell's sister Gloria, as a photographer.


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