by Nathalie Azoulai
Almost nobody knows Marilyn Monroe's sixteenth movie, Don't bother to knock. Directed in 1952 by Roy Baker, she plays a neurotic baby-sitter that just came out of a mental institution. Though not her first time on the screen, it was her first major part. Her name came right after Richard Widmark's on the credits. There's a weird echo between this almost first movie and her almost last one, The Misfits, in 1961. (Yes, we know, Something's got to give is the very last one she didn't even have time to finish). Nell and Roslyn have much in common, a psychological fragility, a deep restlessness, a moving awkwardness with men. No other parts could match better with Marilyn Monroe's personality.
Don't bother to knock isn't supposed to be a very good movie but as we are celebrating her 50th death anniversary, let's bother to knock on her door.