Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)

SYNPOSIS (via Wikipedia):

Based on the book Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong published in 1951, Don’t Bother to Knock features Marilyn Monroe as a disturbed babysitter watching a child at the same New York hotel where a pilot, played by Richard Widmark, is staying. Her strange behavior makes him increasingly aware that she is the last person the parents should have entrusted with their daughter.

After seeing this film a couple of time, I have come to the following conclusion: this should have been a signal to audiences and the public at large that Monroe’s rather terrifying portrayal was a bit close to home. For my money, she was quite believable as a mentally fragile woman on the verge of a pure psychotic break – then again maybe it is just a bit of hindsight.

A bit of trivia: Don’t Bother to Knock marked the film debut of Anne Bancroft.

Check out other overlooked films on Todd’s blog Sweet Freedom.


  1. Another I need to see again…not the kind of role her image-shapers wanted for her!
    Todd Mason recently posted..Friday’s “Forgotten” Books–*more* post T-day Limited Edition set of linksMy Profile

  2. Great choice Iba – one of the lesser known films directed by Roy (Ward) Baker, who later made the best of all Titanic movies, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER as well as the likes of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT. This would make a fairly diabolical double-bill with Bette Davis’ THE NANNY (or triple bill with THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE) –
    Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) recently posted..Top 20 Spy moviesMy Profile

  3. I absolutely love A NIGHT TO REMEMBER as well – the best TITANIC movie. I know I saw this Monroe movie but damn if I can remember anything about it. I went to the movies every week when I was a kid during the fifties so I know I’ve seen just about every movie made during that time. Now if only I could remember them…

  4. Hi, Iluv:

    Intriguing choice for an Overlooked Film!

    It’s always interesting, though sometimes creepy when an actor or actress plays against type. And in ‘Don’t Bother to Knock’ the latter is writ large. Whoever knew that Marylin Monroe could be so flat out scary!

    One of those films best watched through covering fingers or just listened to.

    PS: If you have a few minutes, drop by Ruth’s ‘FlixChatter’. I have a guest post I think you’ll enjoy!

  5. great review! i remember being impressed with her performance when i saw it. def a different way of seeing her. nevr thought of it as being a reflection of her real life, but now that you mention it, that is a valid point. perhaps why she was so good in it
    Mystery Man recently posted..Some Guy Who Kills PeopleMy Profile


  1. […] Don’t Bother to Knock  (1952): check out my previous post. […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge