6.9/10
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Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Passed | | 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:

...a wicked sensation as the lonely girl in room 809! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Without Sleep 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

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

Referenced in Blonde Heat (The Case of the Maltese Dildo) (1985) 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

 
The Babysitter and the Flyer
5 December 2001 | by telegonusSee 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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