Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 2nd, 2018
BluRay released: March 20th, 2018
Approximate running times: 76 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Twilight Time
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Don’t Bother to Knock was directed by Roy Ward Baker whose other notable films include, A Night to Remember, “The Avengers”, Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers, And Now the Screaming Starts!, Asylum and The Monster Club. Key collaborators on Don’t Bother to Knock include, screenwriter Daniel Taradash (From Here to Eternity, Bell Book and Candle), cinematographer Lucien Ballard (The Killing, The Wild Bunch) and composer Lionel Newman (The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes).
Content wise, Don’t Bother to Knock is a melodrama that has all of the elements that have since become synonymous with the film noir genre. The film’s premise puts an inventive twist of the femme fatale character. The narrative is wonderfully paced and key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate.
The characters are well-defined and the cast are all very good in their respective roles. With the heart and soul of this film being Marilyn Monroe’s (Niagara, Some Like It Hot) portrayal of a disturbed babysitter named Nell Forbes. She delivers an utterly convincing performance that perfectly captures her characters deteriorating state of mind.
Other performances of note include, Elisha Cook Jr. (The Killing, Rosemary’s Baby) in the role of Neil’s uncle, Anne Bancroft (The Pumpkin Eater, The Gradate) in the role of a nightclub singer and Richard Widmark (Kiss of Death, Night and the City) in the role of Jed Towers, the man who reminds Neil of her dead lover.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film’s does not excel. Not to be overlooked is Roy Ward Baker’s rock-solid direction. The visuals do a superb job reinforcing this film’s foreboding tone. Standout moments include, Neil and Jed’s playful first interaction and a scene that reveals what Neil has done to the girl she is babysitting. And the film’s finale provides a very satisfying resolution to the events that have just unfolded.
Don’t Bother to Knock comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Contrast and black levels looks strong throughout, details look crisp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced.
Extras for this release include, an option to view the Twilight Time catalog, an eight-page booklet with an essay about the film’s written by Julie Kirgo, an option to listen to an Isolated music track, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 41 seconds) and two career retrospective documentaries – Marilyn Monroe: The Mortal Goddess (44 minutes 5 seconds) and Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (44 minutes 22 seconds).
Overall Don’t Bother to Knock gets a first-rate release from Twilight Time.
Note: This Blu-Ray release is a limited-edition release of 3,000 copies.