Don't Bother to Knock

Watch Don't Bother to Knock

"...a wicked sensation as the lonely girl in room 809!"
  • Passed
  • 1952
  • 1 hr 16 min
  • 6.9  (8,313)
  • 61

Don't Bother to Knock is a 1952 film noir directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe and Anne Bancroft. The movie revolves around a mentally unstable woman named Nell Forbes (Marilyn Monroe) who is hired by Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) to babysit his six-year-old daughter Bunny in a hotel while he goes out for the night. Anne Bancroft plays the role of Lyn Lesley, a lounge singer who Jed is dating. The film takes place entirely within the confines of the hotel, creating an atmosphere of claustrophobia and suspense.

As the night progresses, Nell's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, and it becomes clear that she has a troubled past. Nell had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized when she lost her fiancé, a pilot who was killed in a plane crash, and has never fully recovered. She begins to hallucinate and becomes increasingly unstable, leading Bunny to be in danger.

Meanwhile, Lyn is left waiting for Jed's return and takes the opportunity to perform in the hotel's lounge. She sings a seductive song intended for Jed, but it is ultimately received by other hotel guests with varying reactions.

As the night goes on, Nell's behavior becomes more and more dangerous. She becomes fixated on Jed and Bunny, and her past traumas begin to resurface. Jed eventually returns to the hotel and is confronted with the situation, leading to a dramatic climax.

One of the film's strengths is Marilyn Monroe's portrayal of Nell. She delivers a nuanced and powerful performance as a woman driven to the brink of insanity by her grief and loneliness. Richard Widmark also gives a solid performance as Jed, playing a character who is at first charming but later reveals his selfish and manipulative nature. Anne Bancroft, in one of her early film roles, is captivating as Lyn, who is caught in the middle of Jed and Nell's perilous situation.

The film is also notable for its use of sound and music, with several scenes featuring only atmospheric sound effects or the live performance of Bancroft's character, further heightening the tension.

Don't Bother to Knock received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising Monroe's performance but panning the film's pace and story. However, the film has since gained a cult following, with many appreciating its suspenseful atmosphere and Monroe's acting.

Overall, Don't Bother to Knock is a tense and gripping thriller that showcases the talents of its three leading actors. It is a film that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.

Don't Bother to Knock is a 1952 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 16 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 61.

Don't Bother to Knock
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 16 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (8,313)
  • Metascore