Blu-ray Review: DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK

DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK is based on the novel by . The movie was directed by Roy (Ward) Baker from a screenplay by Daniel Taradash and stars Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft, Donna Corcoran, Jeanne Cagney, Elisha Cook Jr. and Jim Backus. The score is by Lionel Newman.

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).

This 1952 noir psychological thriller takes place inside a lavish high rise in the city. The movie follows Nell Forbes (Marilyn Monroe), a young woman recently discharged from a mental hospital who is hired to babysit a little girl. She ends up catching the eye of Jed Towers (Richard Widmark), an airline pilot who has just been dumped by his girlfriend Lyn Lesley (Anne Bancroft), a lounge singer in the bar down stairs. What happens is, Jed makes a call to the room Nell is babysitting in and asks if he can come over to meet her and she quickly obliges without thinking things through with no concern for the young girl she’s looking after.

What happens is, Nell ends up pretending she’s someone she’s not to try to impress Jed but things quickly spiral out of control because Nell is a troubled woman with some emotional scars that she has a hard time dealing with and Jed is there to witness her breakdown. As the night plays out, the beautiful young woman slowly transforms into a mentally unstable monster whose past mistakes come back to haunt her. Nell’s friend Eddie (Elisha Cook Jr.) is the one who set up the babysitting gig for Nell because he thought she was cured but in the end he realizes he made a mistake by giving her a chance.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Don’t Bother to Knock by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. There’s a little grain in some of the darker scenes but I really didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Don’t Bother to Knock was another splended first time watch for me plus it was also my first time watching a movie that starred Marilyn Monroe. I really liked this noir psycho-thriller because I didn’t know where it was going in the beginning so the suspense built up as it all played out and the second half is where everything went off the rails for this troubled young woman who was desperately trying to be normal – and liked. The story was interesting and the cast did a great job with their characters. I’ve always heard that Marilyn Monroe wasn’t that good of an actress and she got cast mostly for her good looks but she pretty much delivered the goods with this emotional performance and director Roy Baker captured this dark character study with his camera. Don’t Bother to Knock is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 76 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High Definition Full Frame (1.33:1) B&W / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include Twilight Time’s isolated music track, two vintage character specials that have been imported over for this release and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Mortal Goddess (44:06)
  • Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (44:23)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:41)

 

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