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Friday, 22 June 2012

Don't Bother to Knock

Star of the Month - Marilyn Monroe

Don't Bother to Knock is a 1952 thriller/melodrama featuring Marilyn MonroeRichard Widmark and Anne Bancoft. The film is directed by English director Roy Ward Baker and co-stars Jim Backus (best known as Thurston Howell III in  Gilligan's Island), Elisha Cook, Jr., Lurene Tuttle and Jeanne Cagney (sister of Hollywood legend James Cagney).

Marilyn plays Nell Forbes, a psychologically disturbed babysitter, who attempts to kill the child she is babysitting in a hotel room. The whole film takes place within the hotel lobby, hotel bar and some of the hotel rooms. The title is irrelevant to the story, and unfortunately makes the film sound a lot more exciting than it is - as does the poster.

The film could be considered semi-musical,  as Anne Bancroft sings 5 songs, but it's not really a musical. The songs seem to extend the already very short film, and fills in the lack of screenplay. Despite the excessive use of song, the songs work well as a transition between the hotel bar and the radio in the hotel rooms.

This was Marilyn's 18th film, and first starring role. It was worth watching to see Marilyn prove she can act. Although Marilyn felt it displayed her best dramatic acting, the film received poor reviews.

Did you know...

  • This film was Anne Bancroft's film debut
  • Dorothy McGuire was originally to star in Marilyn's role
  • Jules Dassin was originally to direct the film
  • The opening credit music was previously used in the film "Panic in the Streets" (1950)
  • Working titles for the film include "Mischief" and "Night Without Sleep"

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