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Number: TWILIGHT321-BR

Starring:  Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark, Anne Bancroft, Donna Corcoran, Jeanne Cagney, Elisha Cook Jr., Jim Backus
Directed By:  Roy (Ward) Baker
Composed By:  Lionel Newman

“Marilyn Monroe, co-starred with Richard Widmark, gives an excellent account of herself in a strictly dramatic role which commands certain attention.”
– Variety

“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.”
– Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) stars Marilyn Monroe in an early dramatic role, eerily playing a demented baby sitter drawn to a man (Richard Widmark) she ultimately becomes convinced is her dead lover. Anne Bancroft is also on hand, making her screen début as Widmark’s chanteuse girlfriend, hoping against hope that he’ll prove himself worthy. Shot, handsomely, by the great Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch).

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.33:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
1952 / B&W

Special Features: Isolated Music Track / Marilyn Monroe: The Mortal Goddess / Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on May 2, 2018 10:47 AM
Marilyn Monroe is considered an iconic representation of the Hollywood female star. Her looks still inspire millions who adore her. Her breathless dialogue is mimicked to the point it is recognizable. The term glamour is still associated with her. But few look back further than those major performances she left for us to view. Not so with the release of DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK.

This is Monroe’s first major role, the first film where she had a lead worth noting. She certainly had starring roles in previous films but this was the first to place her center stage in the lead role. Film historians consider her performance here one to back up the claim that she was a talent that deserved more than she received.

Monroe stars as Nell Forbes, a young woman whose uncle Eddie (Elisha Cook Jr.) works as an elevator operator in a posh New York City hotel. Peter and Ruth Jones’ (Jim Backus and Lurene Tuttle) are in town for him to receive an award at a dinner in the hotel that night and have brought along their young daughter Bunny (Donna Corcoran). Eddie has assured them that Nell is the perfect woman for the job and soon they’re introduced and the pair go off to their dinner.

While this is transpiring we also meet Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) and Lyn Lesley (Anne Bancroft). Lyn is a singer in the lounge at the same hotel and has just broken off her relationship with Jed, a man who comes to town periodically but offers her no hope of a future together. Feeling that Jed has no sense of emotion deep inside Lyn tells him her issues and he leaves, going up to his room.

That room is right across the way from the room Nell is in. Looking across the way Jed sees her. Nell has now displayed a different side of herself to us the viewers. She begins by eating chocolates the Jones’ have left behind. She puts on a nightgown of Ruth’s as well as stocking and her jewelry. Jed assumes she’s in her room and calls her to flirt, eventually getting himself an invite to come over.

This rebound date for Jed turns out to be more than he expected. While things seem to move along smoothly at first he soon learns the truth about Nell. At the same time we begin to learn more about her as well, including the fact that she lost the love of her life and has attempted suicide. The question rises what will she do here in this situation? Is Bunny safe in her care? Will she do harm to Jed?

The movie move along at a steady pace and holds your interest from start to finish. I wasn’t sure in reading the synopsis that this would be the case or not. Fortunately it does so and does it well. Even better than that we’re presented with two main characters that we have no reason to sympathize with, two characters that at first seem to earn our disdain only to learn, as they do, that there is more going on beneath their shells than we expected.

I’ve never been a fan of Monroe and honestly this film didn’t make me one. I’ve always found her breathless way of speaking to be annoying and it can be that way at times here in this film. But she does hold her own and shows a certain amount of allure that would go on to make her a huge success. Widmark by this time had already made his mark as a star. He could have hogged the camera for himself but his performance here shows he was willing to provide an assist to someone new, both in Monroe and Bancroft’s performances. Bancroft’s role here isn’t at the heart of things but she does provide a character that helps to bring out the best in Widmark’s.

Twilight Time is releasing the film as they do with all of their titles, in a great looking hi def 1080p presentation and limiting the release to just 3,000 copies. This time around they’ve included several great extras to be enjoyed including an isolated music track, a featurette called MARILYN MONROE: THE MORTAL GODDESS, another featurette RICHARD WIDMARK: STRENGTH OF CHARACTERS and the original theatrical trailer. If you’re a Monroe or Widmark fan make sure you order this today. With limited copies available they could be gone soon.

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