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Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark, & Anne Bancroft

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: Don’t Bother to Knock

The Underrated Marilyn Monroe Film Noir Cult Classic Vs the Charlotte Armstrong Novel

In 1952, Marilyn Monroe was a 26-year-old actor with several comedies under her belt but no dramatic parts to show her true range of talent. Don’t Bother to Knock adapted from Charlotte Armstrong’s 1951 novel Mischief gave her a chance to show her range and remains one of her best performances.

The story centers on an unstable woman, Nell Forbes (Monroe,) who is hired to babysit for a couple at a hotel set up by her cousin who is taking care of her after a brief stay in a mental hospital in Oregon. While Nell takes care of the child, Bunny, she meets airline pilot Jed Towers (played by Richard Widmark) who soon learns that Nell is unstable and Bunny might be in danger.

The cast is rounded out by Anne Bancroft in her first role as a jazz singer and Elisha Cook Jr. who plays Nell’s cousin Eddie. The story has unusual twists and turns as it ultimately becomes a morality play about knowing your nieghbors. And Marilyn is FANTASTIC in it!

So between the novel and the film, which did we like better?

In this ep the Margos discuss:
Author Charlotte Armstrong
Marilyn Monroe’s film career
Film noir in the 1950s (Post WW2)
The amazing cast: Marilyn Monroe (Nell Forbes,) Richard Widmark (Jed Towers,) Anne Bancroft (Lyn Lesley,) Donna Corcoran (Bunny Jones,) Jeanne Cagney (Rochelle,) Lurene Tuttle (Ruth Jones,) Elisha Cook Jr. (Eddie Forbes,) Jim Backus (Peter Jones,) and Willis Bouchey (the Bartender).

Clips used:
Eddie brings Nell to the hotel
Don’t Bother to Knock trailer
Nell tries to convince Jed to stay
Jed tries to convince Len to love him
Ruth knocks out Nell
Music by Lionel Newman & Jerry Goldsmith

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Margo D. @BrooklynFitChik www.brooklynfitchick.com brooklynfitchick@gmail.com
Margo P. @ShesNachoMama https://coloniabook.weebly.com/

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