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Don’t Bother to Knock

Marilyn Monroe, co-starred with Richard Widmark, gives an excellent account of herself in a strictly dramatic role which commands certain attention, but the story of a psycho baby-sitter lacks interest.

Marilyn Monroe, co-starred with Richard Widmark, gives an excellent account of herself in a strictly dramatic role which commands certain attention, but the story of a psycho baby-sitter lacks interest.

Femme star enters a NY hotel to take on a baby-sitting stint. Actually, she’s newly released from a mental institution, sent there when her mind cracked after her fiance crashed in the Pacific and drowned. In Widmark, who glimpses her from his room across the court and comes calling with a bottle, she sees, in her dementia, the man she once loved.

Action progresses at a dull pace, and script by Daniel Taradash [from a novel by Charlotte Armstrong] tries to juggle too many elements.

Monroe’s role seems an odd choice, and in this she’s anything but glamorous, despite her donning a negligee. Widmark doesn’t appear too happy with his role. Anne Bancroft, making her screen bow, scores brightly as a torch singer.

Don’t Bother to Knock

  • Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Roy Ward Baker; Producer Julian Blaustein; Screenplay Daniel Taradash; Camera Lucien Ballard; Editor George A. Gittens; Music Lionel Newman (dir.); Art Director Lyle Wheeler, Richard Irvine
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 76 MIN.
  • With: Richard Widmark Marilyn Monroe Anne Bancroft Donna Corcoran Jeanne Cagney Elisha Cook Jr
  • Music By: