While baby-sitting in a hotel, a beautiful woman (Marilyn Monroe
) begins a flirtation with one of the hotel's guests (Richard Widmark). Rebounding from a breakup with his girlfriend (Anne Bancroft), he's willingly seduced by the baby-sitter and ends up in bed with her. When the child wakes up and disturbs their lovemaking, the baby-sitter reveals homicidal tendencies and terrorizes them both.
Marilyn moved into the West Hollywood home of her acting coach, Natasha Lytess in preparation for her role as the emotionally disturbed Nell, which was her first heavily dramatic part. Lytess, whose relationship with Marilyn ended badly, later quipped about her time as MM’s room mate, “Marilyn is a moon-walker. When she used to live in my house, I often felt like she was a somnambulist walking around”.
Directors were usually none too happy about Lytess walking around their movie sets and actors were often perturbed about having to re-shoot a scene if Marilyn did not receive a not of approval from her mentor. Don’t Bother to Knock, however, proved to be the exception to the rule. Reportedly, Marilyn did not require a single retake during production.
This was Anne Bancroft's first film.
In the novel on which the movie is based Nell's surname is 'Munro'. This was changed to Forbes when Marilyn Monroe was cast in the role.
It is based on the book Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong published in 1951.
This movie marked the first time Monroe and composer Lionel Newman worked together in the same movie.
Don’t Bother to Knock attempts to tell a story in real time or at least near real time.
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