I first saw Don't Bother To Knock about twenty years ago. I have always been a Marilyn Monroe fan and was not expecting such a dark disturbing film. I just recently watched this film again and still find if fascinating. In many ways the disturbed character Marilyn plays must have come from deep inside Marilyn herself, causing her to revisit some of the darker days of her life. Knowing how fragile Marilyn was in real life its amazing she was able to get through this movie. I have read many reviews of the film and a lot have called it one of her lesser films. I think her performance is right up there with some of her best. Its the not musical comedy Marilyn that many love. This is a much deeper and dramatic Marilyn.
Richard Widmark is also wonderful in this movie. He plays an airline pilot who sees her through a hotel window and in his seduction of her finds her to be much more than the pretty woman in the window. This is also the film debut of Anne Bancroft who may or may not have done her own singing in this film. It doesn't really matter about the singing, Anne's debut show the promise of the great actress she was to become. I had forgotten and was pleasantly surprise to see Verna Felton as one of the character actresses in this film. I had forgotten she was in the movie. I have always loved her voice and find her no less fascinating than anyone else in this film.
Roy Ward Baker was the director. Like so many others associated with this film, he was to go on to greatness. Watching this film is disturbing, but once you get into the story you can't turn away. In my opinion this makes this much more than just one of the lesser films in the Marilyn Monroe canon. It shows the promise of great things to come and is a minor classic all on its own.