We Bothered to Procure a 35mm Print, So Please Bother to Show Up for Don’t Bother to Knock – Jan. 22 at NEIU


The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701  W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, January 23 @ 7:30 PM
DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK
Directed by Roy Ward Baker • 1952
20th Century-Fox handed Marilyn Monroe her first starring role as Nell Forbes, a young woman recovering from a nervous breakdown after the death of her fiancé, in this no-frills noir directed by Roy Ward Baker (later of Hammer Horror fame). Nell’s sympathetic Uncle Eddie (Elisha Cook Jr.) gets her a babysitting job in the New York hotel where he works, but she soon proves to be a danger to both herself and to the poor kid she was just left alone with. Sulky Richard Widmark costars as Jed, a pilot trying to patch things up with the hotel’s lounge singer (Anne Bancroft in a solid screen debut) who really just wants him to set his drink down every so often and stop being such a callous prick. She gets her wish (sort of), and he gets a hard lesson in the human condition when his casual flirtations with the quickly unraveling Nell trigger delusions that he’s her dead fiancé. Upon its release critics were mostly unimpressed, possibly because at that point in Monroe’s career she was better known for a nude photo than for being a serious actress (New York Times critic Bosley Crowther described her as lacking the “equipment” to handle the job). Yet she’s stunning in the role, swinging from wide-eyed and vulnerable to downright scary with ease. Maybe the world wasn’t ready for spooky Marilyn in 1952, but we sure are. (RL)
76 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA
Cartoon: Baby Huey in “Pest Pupil” (Dave Tendlar, 1957) – 6 min – 16mm

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