Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark, Anne Bancroft &
Elisha Cook
Director: Roy Ward Baker

Those who consider Monroe an actress of limited range should take a look at Don't Bother To Knock, in which the sex symbol is cast in a most un-Monroe-like part and turns in a quite impressive performance. Monroe's talent was considerable, and while she shown in the lighter roles that emphasized her obvious sexual allure, she was quite capable of handling meatier roles. Knock is also interesting to watch because Monroe's part is a surprising one for a star to take -- a psychotic who is not especially sympathetic. Knock has lots to recommend it aside form Monroe, include a script that, while it often stretches credulity, is nonetheless tightly structured and features some great dialogue, as well as an across-the-courtyard-through-the-windows scene that is engrossingly voyeuristic. A very young Bancroft turns in a solid performance, as do Cook and Widmark is less solid; he's fine, but he doesn't seem to be totally engaged in his part and thus can't fill out some of its more two-dimensional qualities. Knock could have been a truly top-notch little thriller had director Baker given it a bit more sizzle. Unfortunately, he's a bit cautious, and so Knock doesn't build up the head of steam and the tense suspense that it needs to. Nevertheless, it's well worth a look, especially for Monroe fans. (76 mins.)

My Rating: ***

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