Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
First title : "Night Without Sleep".
After having lent Marilyn to others studios, the Fox gave to her new sex-symbol, her first big part in a movie.
Immediatley after having played a fishery employee in "Clash By Night" (1952), Marilyn portrayed a mentally disturbed and dangerousely neurotic baby-sitter : 2 parts radically distant from the one of the explosive blonde she used to play in her 14 former movies.
"Don't Bother to Knock" was based on a thriller written by Charlotte Armstrong, "Mischief", first published in Good Housekeeping magazine.
Her performance was variously appreciated, but, generally, the opinions were favorables.
Years later, Marilyn considered that it was one of her best performance.
The part of
Nell Forbes was probably an important emotional test. One can think
that Marilyn called for her unhappy childhood and the visits to her
mother in mental institutions to understand the loneliness of her
character, and also the consequences of years of committal. She could
inspired from her own life the attract that a whimsical life did, and
the injuries that could lead to suicide.
The part of Nell Forbes was probably an important emotional test. One can think that Marilyn called for her unhappy childhood and the visits to her mother in mental institutions to understand the loneliness of her character, and also the consequences of years of committal. She could inspired from her own life the attract that a whimsical life did, and the injuries that could lead to suicide.
budget was limited, which forced the English director, Roy Baker, to
content himself with his first takes. Considering the important jitters
of which Marilyn suffered from, the result is impressive.
The movie budget was limited, which forced the English director, Roy Baker, to content himself with his first takes. Considering the important jitters of which Marilyn suffered from, the result is impressive.
Natasha Lytess, of who Marilyn had demanded the presence on the set, told : "I didn't have to do a lot. She was terrified by the movie but she knew exactly the demands of the part and the way she had to play. I just simply tried to give her confidence".
Pilot Jed Towers, played by Richard Widmark, portrayed very well the character : "'You're a very changing girl... on one side it's silk, on the other side it's sandpaper".
The movie was adapted for television in 1991 under the totle of "The Sitter".
with other actors
with other actors
with Richard Widmark
Twentieth Century-Fox, noir et blanc
Runtime : 76 mn.
Release date : July 18, 1952.
Director : Roy Ward Baker
Producer : Julian Blaustein
Screenplay : Daniel Taradash, base on "Mischief" of Charlotte Armstrong.
Director of photography : Lucien Ballard
Musical director : Lionel Newman
Costumes : William Travilla
Film editing : George A. Gittens.
Richard Widmark - Jed Towers
Marilyn Monroe - Nell Forbes
Anne Bancroft - Lyn Leslie
Donna Corcoran - Bunny Jones
Jeanne Cagney - Rochelle
Lurene Tuttle - Mrs Jones
Elisha Cook Jr - Eddie Forbes
Jim Backus - Peter Jones
Verna Felton - Mrs Ballew
Willis Bouchey - Joe the bartender
Gloria Blondell - photographer
Don Beddoe - Mr Ballew
Grace Hayle - Mrs McMurdock
Eda Reiss Merin - maid
Vic Perrin - Elevator operator
Dick Cogan - Bell Captain
Robert Foulk - doorman
Olan Soule - Desk clerk
Emmett Vogan - Toastmaster.
Paul S. Fox - set designer
Richard Irvine - art director
Charles LeMaire - costumes direc
Thomas Little - chief set designer
Lyle R. Wheeler - art director
Jerry Goldsmith - scoring tasks
Alfred Newman - theme of "Panic in the Streets" (1950)
Ben Nye - make-up
Bernard Freericks - sound
Harry M. Leonard - sound
Earle H. Hagen - orchestrator
Ray Kellog - special effects.
Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) is a commercial pilot and lives in a hotel in New York City, where his girlfriend Lyn Leslie (Anne Bancroft at the beginning of her career). Lyn wants to break up with Jed, because of his grumpiness. The pilot immediately finds a new girlfriend in the pretty blonde form the other side of the hotel.
Neel (Marilyn Monroe) is not at all the girl she seems to be. Even if she seemed normal to the couple who hired her this evening to look after her litttle daughter Bunny (Donna Corcoran), actually she hasn't recovered from her fiancé giving up, commercial pilot...
Nell leads Jed in her room and manages to avoid any intervention, specially from Bunny.
Jed's worries concerning Nell's madness are confirmed when she falls out with her uncle Eddie, the elevator operator, because he has talked about her ex fiancé.Jed avoids the situation and tries to reconcile with Lyn. When he realizes that the little girl kept by a crazy baby-sitter is in serious danger, he comes back up in her room and notices that the little girl has been bound and that Nell is fighting with Bunny's mother. Nell runs away but Jed finds her - she threatens to kill herself with a razor blade, but Jed's intervention is sfficient to dissuade her. She finally understands that her fiancé is dead. She is taken to the hospital and Jed reconciles finally with Lyn, convinced that Jed is not the selfish man she thought he was.