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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:

You never met her type before... 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

The events in the film take place in real-time. 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

How Blue the Night
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Performed Eve Marley (uncredited) dubbing for by Anne Bancroft
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Itch To Scratch
1 August 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Don't Bother To Knock finds airline pilot Richard Widmark flying with more than the safety of his passengers on his mind to New York. He's on a mission to confront Anne Bancroft who's given him a 'let's call it a day' letter. Anne works as a singer in a posh New York nightclub attached to one of the fancier hotels. After a nasty scene with Bancroft, Widmark's left with an itch to scratch.

The answer might be Marilyn Monroe across the courtyard looking real provocative and arousing Widmark's interest. He gives her a call and things might be going good. Then the little girl, Donna Corcoran, wakes up from the next room and Marilyn starts to act very weird indeed.

This one was one of Marilyn's first roles which exploited a little more than her beauty. She plays a troubled young lady who's just spent some time in a mental institution. Her uncle Elisha Cook, Jr., got her that job as a babysitter for Corcoran whose parents Jim Backus and Jeanne Cagney are at a banquet in the hotel. Truth be told the role was no stretch for Marilyn given her own sad history.

Widmark's not a particularly noble character here, but he's a decent enough man. He's just like millions of other men who when they lose their love, cure it with trying to love what's available. Anne Bancroft makes a nice screen debut here although I can't believe she sung those songs herself. If so, why didn't she do any more singing on screen?

Though the film gets melodramatic and the characters don't give you any real rooting interest, Don't Bother To Knock remains a landmark film for the careers of both Marilyn Monroe and Anne Bancroft.


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