Don't Bother to Knock


Don't Bother to Knock (1952)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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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 (Donna Corcoran) surprises the spooning couple. This drives the psychotic Nell over the edge, forcing Jed to try to keep the baby-sitter from killing both herself and the child. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Marilyn Monroe
as Nell Forbes
Richard Widmark
as Jed Towers
Anne Bancroft
as Lyn Lesley
Donna Corcoran
as Bunny Jones
Jeanne Cagney
as Rochelle
Lurene Tuttle
as Mrs. Ruth Jones
Jim Backus
as Peter Jones
Verna Felton
as Mrs. Ballew
Don Beddoe
as Mr. Ballew
Gloria Blondell
as Janie, Girl Photographer
Grace Hayle
as Mrs. McMurdock
Vic Perrin
as Elevator Operator
Dick Cogan
as Bell Captain
Robert Foulk
as Doorman
Olan Soule
as Desk Clerk
Emmett Vogan
as Toastmaster
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Critic Reviews for Don't Bother to Knock

All Critics (9)

A brisk 76-minute running time is all that's required for this nifty thriller to take the stage, impress the audience, and exit with style.

Mar 22, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Wacko psychological thriller.

Feb 15, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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.

Oct 10, 2008 | Full Review…

Monroe goes borderline-psycho in an enjoyable thriller

Oct 7, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Drama realizado para provar que Monroe era boa atriz, é até bem sucedido em certo grau, pois ela desempenha razoavelmente bem seu papel. O problema é que o roteiro não desenvolve muito a história, que parece ter sido escrita para teatro.

Jul 25, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Fairly satisfying

Apr 27, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

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
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
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
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Whoa. Marilyn Monroe freaked me out!! I didn't even know she could act! Hah! I'm impressed there was acting and I did like the story especially for 1952. A good psycho story always does me well. I liked it and it drew me in from the very beginning. I'd totally watch this again, if not only for Marilyn's CRAZY eyes.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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