Don't Bother to Knock (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Sex symbol Marilyn Monroe went dramatic in 1952's Don't Bother to Knock. Monroe plays Nell Forbes, a beautiful but suicidal young woman, recently released from a mental institution. She doesn't mention this on her resumé when she takes a baby-sitting job in a posh hotel. Jed Towers (Richard Widmark), a hotel guest, tries to make time with Nell after his own girlfriend, played by Anne Bancroft, has told him to take a hike. As Nell and Jed neck on the couch, the little girl whom Nell is tending … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Charlotte Armstrong, Daniel Taradash
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 14, 2002
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


as Nell Forbes

as Jed Towers

as Lyn Lesley

as Bunny Jones

as Rochelle

as Mrs. Ruth Jones

as Peter Jones

as Mrs. Ballew

as Mr. Ballew

as Janie, Girl Photogr...

as Mrs. McMurdock

as Elevator Operator

as Bell Captain

as Doorman

as Desk Clerk

as Toastmaster
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Don't Bother to Knock

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Critic Reviews for Don't Bother to Knock

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Wacko psychological thriller.

Full Review… | February 15, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A snappy little 76-minute, black-and-white item, this film noir dared to look at the dark side of Monroe's giggly sex appeal.

Full Review… | October 10, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

Monroe goes borderline-psycho in an enjoyable thriller

October 7, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for Don't Bother to Knock

this probably is monroe's best performance, playing an unstable character very close to the edge and she is genuinely scary. richard widmark gives great support as a frustrated guy just trying to make time whose cynicism grows into compassion. and anne bancroft looks smashing in her film debut. suspenseful and underrated.

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Monroe's best performance if you ask me, and Widmark gives a great performance as well along with her. The story is great it's dramatic and exciting. I highly recommend this movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


I think this movie is best experienced if you don't know it's a thriller at all. The slow progression of madness that takes over Marilyn Monroe is incredible. I love that it starts out like a romantic comedy or drama and then has Nell the babysitter from hell tying up children and falling psychotically in love with the man across the building. My only complaint for this movie is that I wanted more, it gives Hitchcock a run for his money and is a lot better than some of his early stuff.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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