23 January 2009

Roll 'Em: Don't Bother to Knock, 1952

WOAH THERE HORSEY: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!! There is a type of movie that I hate watching, just because the storyline is so awful. Not that the movie is awful, because the movie was actually really very good, but the plot is so depressing and mind blowing that it makes you nervous and hurts your head. Does that make sense? Most people are used to seeing Marilyn Monroe in ditzy blonde roles, which leads them to believe that she really was dumb and ditzy when she was the complete opposite. Her serious acting side is shown in Don't Bother to Knock. Her character has been institutionalized for a long time and then is finally turned loose upon her uncle, an elevator operator, in a NYC hotel who then offers her babysitting services to an unsuspecting couple. Smart, right? This is definately an edge-of-your-seater. There's one part where the babysittee, Bunny, is hot and leans out of the window for some air. Nell (MM) starts having flashbacks and sets her hand on Bunny's back. The viewer thinks she'll shove the kid out of the window. I distinctly remember having the reflex of putting one hand over my mouth and the other near my eyes, just in case, while saying "Oh my God!" Then the lady downstairs thinks there's something funky going on up there, then sees the girl leaning out of the window, screams bloody murder, then Richard Widmark (God bless him) runs and saves Bunny. WOO! Thanks to MissGoddess over at TCM for the caps! I should also mention that Richard Widmark is terrific. I don't think many actors could pull off the role quite like him. Not only is he incredibly suave, but in one night he saves a little girl, saves Nell from the razor, AND gets back together with Anne Bancroft after breaking up. If that's not multitasking, I don't know what is.


Raquelle said...

Don't Bother to Knock is probably the best Marilyn Monroe movie to recommend to Monroe-haters!

(I have a t-shirt with Monroe trying on earrings from a scene from that movie, hee hee)

Evangeline said...

This was my first Marilyn movie, so I was surprised to see that the rest of her filmography was filled with dumb-blonde roles. She was a marvelous actress whose personal life and public image ruined her potential.