Film on Friday

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Marilyn Monroe is unquestionably an American icon. Beautiful, talented, tragic, she remains a fascination for many people. Often typecast as the singing ditsy blonde, she spent much of her movie career striving to be regarded as a serious actor. 1952’s Don’t Bother to Knock was her first real venture into the realm of drama – in fact, Marilyn’s character, Nell Forbes, proved to be the nightmare babysitter – not only suicidal herself, but willing to put the life of the child in danger as well.

The film co-starred veteran actor Richard Widmark as a disillusioned pilot and introduced the young Anne Bancroft (she was only 21) as a bar singer at the hotel where the action in the film occurred. Don’t Bother to Knockwas a financial success despite receiving mixed reviews.  Some critics complained that the movie was largely forgettable, but Marilyn must have been satisfied when they came away from it saying her performance was the best part of the feature. Of course, Marilyn starred in a full five films in 1953. The movie released directly after Don’t Bother to Knockwas a screwball comedy called Monkey Business(not to be confused with the Marx Brothers film of the same name).