Friday, September 16, 2011
Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
After the Joneses have left, Nell reads Bunny a story and then insists she go to sleep. Nell then wanders around the room putting on Ruth’s negligee, perfume and jewelry. Jed, who has returned to his room catches sight of Nell across the courtyard. When Nell realizes he is watching her she shuts the blinds but then opens them again. Jed decides to give her room a call, and asks to be invited over. Nell tells him someone is at the door, hangs up the phone and shuts the blinds. Her uncle Eddie is checking in on her and admonishes her for wearing Ruth’s things, upsetting Nell. He soothes her by stating that she can have nice things when she finds another boyfriend to replace the one who was killed. Eddie leaves and Nell decides to invite Jed over.
Director Roy Ward Baker thought Monroe grossly miscast as Nell Forbes and I am inclined to agree. I won’t say that Monroe did not have talent, she did. It just wasn’t as a dramatic actress. Apparently she was very difficult to work with on this film, constantly tardy, unable to deliver more than a few lines at a time and torn between listening to Baker and her acting coach, Natasha Lytess. Eventually Lytess was barred from the set. That being said, Don’t Bother to Knock is not a horrible film, I was quite impressed with the plot line (although the ending was quite weak) and more impressed with Monroe’s attempt to do her part justice. No doubt her own insecurities helped her perform this role that ironically hit a little too close to home. The other cast members, despite...er, because of rather, the difficulties of working with Monroe, should also be commended for putting in good performances.
Tonight on TCM!
Get carried away with the Carry On... film series!