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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:

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

Donna Corcoran is the only member of the cast still alive today. 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

 
Don't tell mom the babysitter is NUTS
29 July 2005 | by blanche-2See 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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