Airline pilot Jed stays at the New York hotel where girlfriend Lyn is a singer. He sees Nell in a window opposite his and they get chummy. When the girl she’s baby-sitting, Bunny, enters Nell goes crazy and sends her to her room.
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Suspense classic featuring what is probably Marilyn Monroe's best performance, it's a shame she rarely had such strong material to work with again. A sharp, claustrophobic script, Roy Ward Baker's taut direction, and an excellent cast rounded out by the always reliable Richard Widmark and Elisha Cook Jr. make this top-notch entertainment for fans of classic thrillers. A classic.
**1/2. Marilyn as a mad baby-sitter, Richard Widmark and his ties, Anne Bancroft's songs and looks, the hotel's elevator as a no man's land guarded by a disobedient dog and Elisha Cook Jr. as the Guardian of the gates of Hell. Recommended to movie lovers. Only.
Marilyn as the Babysitter from Hell (or, rather: from the Asylum): It's marvellous how she owns this picture. All her charisma, later used for pure sexiness, is pure fragility here. Probably one of her best performances. And a good film altogether, too.
3.5 stars ~ Monroe's ease with changing it up between fragility and intense hatred/craziness is enough to convince anyone that she really was a great actress, and that the material she mostly did was far beneath her intelligence and skills. A really nifty little noir-ish thriller with a solid performance by Widmark as well.
1952. Marilyn Monroe was rising to stardom but the studios didn't know what to do with her and tried her in various types of films. Two of them stand out: 'Clash by Night' and 'Don't Bother to Knock'. The latter is a revelation. Perfectly paired with Widmark, she shows what an instinctive and formidably sensitive actress she is.
A gem in her lesser known filmography.