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Janne the Director’s Favorite Rare Movies Top 100 List #23: Don’t Bother To Knock (1952)

April 26, 2011

The Director of the Animated Comedy Series Lunki and Sika Janne the Director23. Don’t Bother To Knock [DVD] (1952)

Once again in this list we have Mr. Richard Widmark (#64: To the Devil a Daughter) but this time younger and sports his trademark shit eating grin a hell of a lot more.

And some girl named… Marilyn Monroe.

Widmark is forced into a corner by his girlfriend (Anne Bancroft in her first role!) to ask her to marry him (that’s how it worked in the 50’s; she couldn’t just ask him to marry her or she would have been burned like a witch or something – google it). So he goes up to his hotel room where he can hear his sweet girlfriend sing live on the radio down in the hotel bar… and starts hitting on that hot blonde babysitter he sees outside his window!

What he doesn’t know is that hot blonde girl is mentally ill and soon enough we have Marilyn Monroe trying to kill kids.

Just like in The Set-Up the whole film takes place in real time but it never tries to use it as a gimmick. It’s actually used more as a clever device for Widmark to cheat on his girlfriend in comfort. (And as an excuse to have a much cooler soundtrack.)

It’s sad that I have to consider this a rare movie. Not just because of the cast that should get at LEAST everybody curious. But because Marilyn Monroe is great here. But the biggest reason is that scene where Marilyn steals a dress and shows it to Widmark and asks him o’ so innocent-like what he thinks about it and he delivers that smile of his and simply says: I like. I always say I like with a creepy smile everytime I can and nobody gets the reference! So see it! I like!

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 24. Coonskin (1975)

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