Dir: Roy Ward Baker | Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft, Richard Widmark, Donna Corcoran | UK Drama
Based on a novel by Charlotte Armstrong called ‘Mischief’. If you were ever curious to see Marilyn Monroe as Blanche DuBois this stark Fox quickie cheaply entirely shot in the studio – which few people have even heard of, let alone seen – gives some idea of what her interpretation would have been like.
Ironically she’d only recently supported Bette Davis in All About Eve, who herself later starred in what director Roy Baker called “the one about the baby-sitter who just happens to be a psychopath”. Richard Widmark however jumped at the then rare opportunity to play a character who wasn’t a giggling psychopath, while it’s also notable as Anne Bancroft’s film debut. Already constantly late and unable to hit her cues; being Elisha Cook Jr.’s neice was probably already an inauspicious start in life. And like her last completed film, The Misfits, Don’t Bother to Knock is highly uncomfortable to watch since Monroe’s precarious mental state playing a girl just out of an institution is only too evident from the end result.@RichardChatten
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