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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn is scarily believable as a psyco!
I always thought there was more to Marilyn Monroe than her trademark dyed-blonde hair and breathless speech, and you'll see a deeper and darker side of her in this great thriller.
She plays (ironically enough) a suicidal woman, who terrorises the little girl she is babysitting. Her persona is desperate for love, and when a man on the rebound from his girlfriend...
Published on 6 April 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look
A neat little thriller starring the iconic Marilyn Monroe in a fairly rare dramatic role. The plot is quite limited and straightforward, and as a result this is hardly a classic. But the actors are all excellent here, making this worth a look at least.

Fans of Monroe used to her glamorous side will get a bit of shock here, as she is demure for a good portion of...
Published on 4 Jun 2011 by CalUni


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn is scarily believable as a psyco!, 6 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [VHS] [1952] (VHS Tape)
I always thought there was more to Marilyn Monroe than her trademark dyed-blonde hair and breathless speech, and you'll see a deeper and darker side of her in this great thriller.
She plays (ironically enough) a suicidal woman, who terrorises the little girl she is babysitting. Her persona is desperate for love, and when a man on the rebound from his girlfriend begins to flirt with her the timid babysitter's confused mind is explored - she thinks that he is her dead boyfriend.
I won't give any more away, but needless to say, if you're a Monroe fan you'll really like this film. I won't say it's her best (Some Like It Hot, no question!) but it's certainly up there with her more prominent and somewhat overrated films.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Marilyn's Best Acting Performance', 16 Mar 2007
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
'Don't Bother To Knock' is one of the most emotionally charged films that I've ever seen. Marilyn is simply spellbinding in this film and puts in the best performance of her entire career here playing 'Nell' a emotionally and mentally unstable young girl unable to cope with the loss of her fiancee in the war. I rarely get through this film without shedding a few tears for 'Nell' such is Marilyn's skilful portrayal and Richard Widmark is also superb as 'Jed' a guy with plenty of problems of his own. If all you ever saw Marilyn Monroe as was a sexy but empty headed blonde who got where she was by trading on her looks, then you need to watch this film. Marilyn was most certainly a VERY talented actress and this film, though an emotionally difficlut watch at times, is a VERY good and VERY different kind of thriller. Be prepared to face a few 'personal demons' watching this and have a hanky nearby but ENJOY!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marilyns most underrated performance, 19 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
`Don't bother to knock' is probably one of Marilyn's least publicized roles yet it proves she always had the ability to act against the dumb blonde typecast she got stuck with.
Marilyn plays Nell Forbes, a mentally disturbed baby sitter grieving the loss of her boyfriend who died during the second world war. After being recently released from a mental institute she gets a babysitting job at the hotel her uncle works at. While there she meets Richard Widmark's character, a cynical pilot having relationship trouble with the hotels lounge singer, and the distinction between fantasy and reality soon blur for Nell.
Its difficult to find flaws.
The scripts well written, the acting emotive and engaging, the story subject engrossing and complex and music is used effectively.
I always find stories more compelling when the characters are complex. So often in movies the protagonist is pure as snow and the villain purely evil which tends to make the characters feel 2D. Marilyn Monroe's character is vulnerable but not always likable and the hero of the piece, Richard Widmark's character, is described as cold and uncaring by his girlfriend at the beginning of the film.
Also, `Don't bother to knock' makes the story revolve around the characters as opposed to the audience feeling the characters are just there to tell a story.
Perhaps the only complaint would be Nell's charge is slightly annoying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and wonderful Monroe, 4 Jun 2010
This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
I didn't know what to expect from this movie as "Don't bother to knock" suggests light comedy as the 1961 film of the same name. However it turns out to be Marilyn as a bit of a psycho-case. Reviews seems to undermine her performance and I really must remind all reviewers that you should not take Marilyn for granted ! While watching I realized what a unique and larger than life actress she was. I find her performance most convincing because of her strangely sedated quality. She gives this movie a sort of Jacques Tourneur'ish atmosphere in my opinion. Enjoy !!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn at her best!, 9 Feb 2007
This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
This film is brilliant! By far one of Marilyns best performances of her career. The film shows Marilyn in a very diffrent light to the Marilyn we have seen in most of her films. Her acting is superb, a touching and convincing portrayal of a young women who is emotionally disturbed and has become lost in grief. One of Marilyns best films and one that Marilyn herself said was one of 'her' favourite perfomances that she gave.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn's first and most dramatic starring role, 4 Sep 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [VHS] [1952] (VHS Tape)
Anyone who says Marilyn Monroe was not a talented dramatic actress has never seen Don´¿Żt Bother to Knock, a darkly unique entry among Marilyn´¿Żs filmography. This film marks Marilyn´¿Żs first dramatic starring role, and it is Marilyn as you would never see her again. She plays Nell, a deeply troubled young lady whose shyness and aloofness at first prove to be only the tip of the iceberg in relation to her problems. She has recently moved to New York to start her life over again, and her helpful uncle, an elevator operator in a grand hotel, has arranged for her to baby-sit a wealthy couple´¿Żs little girl for the night. This, as soon becomes apparent, was not a good idea. Her behavior becomes stranger and stranger as the night progresses, exacerbated by the attentions of a young man (Richard Widmark) who comes calling on the rebound after seeing her from the room across the way. His girl has just broken things off with him downstairs, but the simple diversion he seeks in the form of some drinks and kicks with a beautiful stranger becomes something else entirely. As the roots and degree of Nell´¿Żs problems are slowly revealed, the film takes on a very dark tone charged with suspense.
Marilyn delivers a truly incredible performance in this early performance from 1952. Her aura of innocence and vulnerability plays perfectly in her role as Nell, and the range of emotions she conveys as the film progresses is amazingly convincing, making her character one who must be feared as much as sympathized with. I can´¿Żt find a single weak spot in her performance, and I imagine the melancholy side of her true nature, the Norma Jean in her, served as a source of inspiration and strength for her in this demanding role.
This movie is quite overlooked today, with most people associating Niagara or even Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Marilyn´¿Żs first starring role, but those who see this movie will most likely never be able to forget it. Sadly, some of the plot summaries I have read elsewhere (including the back covers of the Marilyn Monroe Collection videos) over dramatize things, saying Nell and Jed (Widmark) end up in bed together at one point or labeling Nell as a murderess. Such sensational claims are not true, and there is nothing remotely sexy about this movie. It is a serious and powerful dramatization of a deeply troubled young lady fighting some very real personal demons in a place and time she is quite ill suited for. Marilyn´¿Żs performance won critical praise and helped make 1952 the year that launched her into superstardom.
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2.0 out of 5 stars If you're not a Marilyn fan, beware, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this because I'm a fan of Richard Widmark, but unfortunately his role here (although top-billed) is pretty much a supporting role to Marilyn Monroe, who plays her usual ditzy whispering candyfloss fragile female role. I think it's the voice that's probably the most irritating thing about her, actually. If there was anyone but her in this, I might have liked this film. Widmark's character is a bit of a rat, but that's nearly always good viewing (!) and the story is OK enough in an understated sort of way, but if you don't like one of the lead actors in a film then frankly, you're stuffed. I'm probably completely on my own here as I know Monroe had / has a huge following and if you can stand that, then fine, you'll probably enjoy this a lot more than I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, 8 Mar 2014
By 
K. J. Stone - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
Good, good, good, good........ My daughter would go on forever. She is a big Marilyn fan and wishes Marilyn had been given more roles worthy of her talent and intelligence. Where would women be now if Marilyn had been recognised for her intellect instead of having to play the dumb blond.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense!, 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
This film cept me on the edge of my seat all the way through! Here, you can see why Marilyn became so famous... she is brilliant! This film also has several nice songs in it sung by Anne Bancroft, although it is by no means a musical. You don't have to be a Marilyn fan to be alble to enjoy this film! It should be recommended to ALL fans of vintage thrillers!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look, 4 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Don't Bother To Knock [DVD] (DVD)
A neat little thriller starring the iconic Marilyn Monroe in a fairly rare dramatic role. The plot is quite limited and straightforward, and as a result this is hardly a classic. But the actors are all excellent here, making this worth a look at least.

Fans of Monroe used to her glamorous side will get a bit of shock here, as she is demure for a good portion of the film and her character is not the fun-loving, happy-go-lucky gal we're used to but rather a disturbed, dangerous person very much in need of saving.

Widmark is on typically good form, while Anne Bancroft appears in a supporting role that already showed the huge potential she'd follow through on in later roles.
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Don't Bother To Knock [VHS] [1952]
Don't Bother To Knock [VHS] [1952] by Roy Ward Baker (VHS Tape - 1999)
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