Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1967)

whos that knocking at my door poster 1967 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice looking, good start to Scorsese

So-so story that could be developed more

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Who’s That Knocking at My Door

Studio:  Trimod Films

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  November 15, 1967

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

whos that knocking at my door harey keitel zina bethune nyc new york

See New York of the ’60s!

J.R. (Harvey Keitel) spends his day working in New York City and hanging out with his friends.  When he meets a girl (Zina Bethune), J.R.’s life turns around.  J.R. can see a future with this girl and he begins to imagine what life would be like with her.  When the girl reveals a secret to J.R., J.R. finds his perfect future might be something that cannot be attained.

Written and directed by Martin Scorsese, Who’s That Knocking at My Door is Scorsese’s first film.  The film was shot over a number of years and was known by I Call First, J.R., and Bring on the Dancing Girls over the course of the production which lasted a number of years.  The movie was released to relatively positive reviews.

Scorsese has a style and even back in this movie, you can see it starting.  The look and feel of movie feels like Scorsese (in addition to being the first film of Scorsese favorite Harvey Keitel).  While Scorsese’s later films might be more developed, Who’s That Knocking at My Door is a good start to a long career.

whos that knocking at my door harvey keitel 1967 friends

I can’t remember the number of times me and my friends hung out, drank, and shot guns at each other…

The story is pretty minimal and was even extended with dream sequences (so it could be promoted as a sexploitation film).  The movie reminds me a bit of Tess of the D’Urbervilles.  The “girl” (unnamed in the film) has a secret as a victim of rape, but the J.R. character can’t handle this but still blames her even when he comes to terms with what she told him…this ends in a rather negative resolution when he can’t understand why she won’t accept that he forgives her for something of which she had no control.

Low-budget films often have low-budget actors, but Keitel is good as the young J.R.  Keitel often plays a heavy in films so it is nice to see him in a different light here.  He has a lot of range in the character and does a good job with the sensitive parts in addition to scenes where his friends are goofing around.  Though her role is small, Zina Bethune also does a good job as the girl tortured by her part and she works well with Keitel.

whos that knocking at my door rape scene zina bethune

So J.R. hope you think about this…

The black-and-white movie has some of the style of Scorsese’s later films.  The movie looks good despite its budget, and it does have some style to it.  The movie has gratuitous nudity, but as mentioned, it was to attract a bigger (and different) audience.

Who’s That Knocking at My Door is an interesting first film that carries the themes of the director.  Scorsese is just starting out here and has a long path ahead of him.  The whole New York, Catholic world that J.R. inhabits feels similar to other Scorsese movies so if you like Scorsese, Who’s That Knocking at My Door is worth seeking out.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response