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Who’s That Knocking At My Door (1968)


Martin Scorsese’s debut is pretty amateurish but nonetheless interesting for the array of influences integrated into a familiar story utilising those tropes that became enmeshed in his narratives – Little Italy, immature men on the make, guilt. An absurdly young looking Harvey Keitel is JR who falls for the arty Girl (Zina Bethune) but can’t deal with her after she tells him she was raped. The visual and verbal cues to Anger, Ford, Godard and Hawks are clear and the film’s centerpiece is more student than expert – a sex dream choreographed to The End by The Doors. But the final images are more clearly Catholic than anything else you’ll see in his work and kudos to his NYU film school professor Haig Manoogian who pretty much financed this. Read The Film Maker’s Art if you get a chance – published in 1966, it’s still a fine piece of work. His wife Betzi contributed to the dialogue, Mama S made calzone, while Thelma Schoonmaker edited – not for the last time. And Mean Streets was yet to come…

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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