Liz and Marilyn: Black and White in Colour: “Don`t Bother to Knock” (1952) ★★★★


How well is your background check before you hire a nanny for your child even for one night? How would you know about her mental condition if there is no letter from the doctor? After seeing DON`T BOTHER TO KNOCK, you will certainly be extra cautious and perform better background checks before you let someone in, even, if that someone is a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type person. In Roy Ward Bakers`s film you will see Marilyn Monroe the way you have never seen her before; an emotionally unstable, dangerous, and totally unpredictable person… almost like Tennessee William`s Blanche DoBois, who was portrayed by Vivien Leigh. Ironically or not, it`s hard to say what made Marilyn Monroe deliver such a powerful performance – Is it because of her acting skill, or is it because she is emoting a certain insanity and instability from her own depths? Whatever it is, does not really matter, because if you`re a Marilyn Monroe fan, then you must trust me on this – this is not a film you want to miss.

DON`T BOTHER TO KNOCK follows Nell Forbes, a beautiful young lady who has just arrived in New York to visit her uncle Eddie. To help her get over some of her internal problems, her uncle helps Nell find a job as a babysitter for a wealthy couple who want to go out for the night. Things start changing in her: her kindness and softness disappear when her lovemaking is interrupted by  the little girl she is babysitting. This causes her to go nuts, which is absolutely terrifying.

And the man who dares to knock on the door is Jed Towers (Richard Widmark), an airline pilot who was just dumped by his girlfriend, Lyn Lesley (Debut role of Anne Bancroft) and is seeking attention from the blonde lady. However, after spending a short time with her in the hotel room he realizes that she is a very, disturbed and dangerous person so he tries to leave the room. This is no easy task as she has no desire to let him go… But how can Nell care so much about a man she doesn’t know? This is a puzzle that only Nell can solve. The viewer will learn everything about her and begin to understand that she is not the person you want to be around when she is in that condition…

It`s really hard to watch DON`T BOTHER TO KNOCK, all because Marilyn Monroe gives a mesmerizing, disturbing, and truly scary performance. She shows that she could have been a very powerful, dramatic actress… It was difficult to watch her in some scenes where you can no longer tell the difference between reality and acting – and this was the most shocking part. But the good news is, Anne Bancroft and Richard Widmark bring an unforgettable charm to this film which will allow you to escape the darkness brought by Nell Forbes.


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