Who's That Knocking at My Door? (1967)


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Who's That Knocking At My Door is the directorial debut for Martin Scorsese, who also wrote the screenplay for this independent film. J.R. (Harvey Keitel) and his teenage pals hang around their neighborhood in New York's Little Italy. The boys pass their time drinking, cruising and picking up "broads" for sex while aspiring to a married life to the stereotypical virginal "good girl." On the Staten Island Ferry, he meets an educated, well spoken cinema buff (Zina Bethune). When she makes an amorous pass at J.R., he is shocked by her forward behavior. He and his buddies run off to a small town, where the loutish urbanites are uncomfortable out of their element. A remorseful J.R. tries to patch things up with the girl, who was the victim of rape earlier in her life. She rejects J.R. and ends the relationship because of his immaturity and mood swings. To satisfy the people who bankrolled the project, Harvey Keitel was flown to Holland where Scorsese was making an advertisement. A gratuitous sex scene was filmed with Ann Colette as part of an erotic dream sequence. Scorsese hated the end result of this forced insertion. He would go on to become one of America's best cinematographers in the years to follow. Harvey Keitel would also become a highly sought after actor in many films.

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Michael Scala
as Sally Gaga
Ann Colette
as Young Girl in Dream
Wendy Russell
as Sally's Girl Friend
Philip Carlson
as Mountain Guide
Robert Uricola
as `Gunman' at Stag Party
Bill Minkin
as Iggy/Radio Announcer
Saskia Holleman
as Other Girls in Dream Fantasy
Tsuai Yu-Lan
as Other Girls in Dream Fantasy
Marieka Weathered
as Other Girls in Dream Fantasy
Catherine Scorsese
as J.R.'s Mother
Vic Magnotta
as Boys in Street Fight
Paul Di Bionde
as Boys in Street Fight
Thomas Aiello
as Minor Role (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Who's That Knocking at My Door?

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

Martin Scorsese's début feature has just the slightest bit of story line, but the movie is a fascinating portfolio piece: a black-and-white blueprint for "Mean Streets."

Jan 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Zina Bethune, as the girl, is believable but Harvey Keitel, as the anti-hero, is alternatively boorish or bewildered.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In the aggressive self-confidence, the use of rock music, and the perceptive observation, Scorsese reveals an anthropological feel for street life and the attitudes of male adolescence.

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

The director, who also wrote the original story and screenplay, hasn't succeeded in making a drama that is really much more aware than the characters themselves.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

As a film, it has something to say to everyone. As a technical achievement, it brings together two opposing worlds of American cinema.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

[It] can be read as a rather rough draft of Mean Streets.

Sep 4, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Who's That Knocking at My Door?


scorsese's first feature length film is largely experimental, but the film had wonderful dialogue and possessed a certain charm to it that helps us to recognize the things about this film that are really the roots of scorsese's future greatness. really only truly engaging to the hard core scorsese fan, but the film is benefited by the short running length and solid performances.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

A convoluted mess, but still visually interesting.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Harvey Keitel yapping on about The Searchers and other westerns was worth the entire movie, not to mention that it's Martin Scorsese's most cultured film. It's sort've brutal for being a light-hearted drama/romance. The shot after the opening credits of Keitel's gang beating up a teenager was interesting in that it is horriftingly nonchalant. A great debut in short.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Almost like watching two different movies, Scorcese's debut isn't too memorable other than that fact. It's like two different siblings each vying for your attention with no cohesiveness whatsoever. Even a young Keitel is fantastic in this and Scorcese seemed to fine tune his films better and better as time went on in his career.

Derek Daniels
Derek Daniels

Super Reviewer

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