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Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

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

Director:

Roy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (screenplay), Charlotte Armstrong (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Jed Towers
Marilyn Monroe ... Nell Forbes
Anne Bancroft ... Lyn Lesley
Donna Corcoran ... Bunny Jones
Jeanne Cagney ... Rochelle
Lurene Tuttle ... Ruth Jones
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Eddie Forbes
Jim Backus ... Peter Jones
Verna Felton ... Mrs. Ballew
Willis Bouchey ... Joe the Bartender (as Willis B. Bouchey)
Don Beddoe ... Mr. Ballew
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emmett Vogan 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mischief See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the novel from which the movie is based upon, Nell's surname is 'Munro'. This was changed to Forbes when Marilyn Monroe was cast in the role. 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

Featured in 20 Dates (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

A Journey to a Star
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Played by The Rounders
See more »

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User Reviews

Monroe fans will want to see this
27 May 2001 | by michael.e.barrettSee all my reviews

What's interesting about this movie is that it's so disturbing. Considered a minor film in Monroe's canon, it's uncomfortable to watch now that we're so saturated with information about her unhappy life. She plays a woman who's had a nervous breakdown because she tried to escape a miserable family life by falling for a young fighter pilot. They had sex in a hotel before marriage, then he went away and got killed in the war and she tried to slash her wrists. So her folks put her away in a funny farm, and now she's come out to live in the city with her uncle, who reminds her of her unsympathetic, impatient parents. That's dark territory for Monroe, and you can't help wondering what she thought of the role. In any case, it's rather uncanny to watch her breaking down. She abuses the girl she is babysitting by tying her up, and at one point she says tellingly about the crying girl "They stop if you ignore them." We are left to conclude that this is how she herself has been treated. In a later speech to the girl, she identifies herself and her goals with the girl and her goals. "We can all get what we want and live happily ever after, understand?" But she does not play a psychopath, as her role is so often described. In the opinion of Widmark, whose character matures and deepens through his encounter with her, she's just a mixed-up girl who "would never have hurt that kid." Although Widmark has a soberly happy ending, Monroe does not.


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