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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Girls who have sex are tainted goods and decent men won't marry them.
Positive Role Models
J.R. was trained his whole life, by church and family, to view women in two categories -- as either whores or pure. Although it sometimes seems as if he has the brains and sensitivity to know better, he adheres to double standards regarding men, women, and sex.
Violence & Scariness
The violence of a rape is graphic. A man tries to rape a girl he's dating in a car. She escapes and he wrestles her back into the car and rapes her, although the sex isn't shown. Several guys beat up another guy on the street. "Friends" call each other stupid. A guy steals from a girl's purse while making out with her.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In one long sequence, breasts, a millisecond glimpse of a penis, and male and female pubic hair are shown. (The scene was reportedly added at a distributor's request and feels out of place.) The movie focuses on double standards of the film's era regarding virginity for men versus for women. The attitude of the lead male character is that men marry virgins and party with "loose" women who "put out." A man refuses to believe that the woman he loves was raped, thinking she's trying to dupe him into marrying her even though she's no longer a virgin.
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"F-g," "fairy," "damn," "jerkoff," and "whore."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol to excess and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Who's That Knocking at My Door? is one of famed director Martin Scorsese's earliest films. The 1967 black-and-white drama features Harvey Keitel as an out-of-work guy on who falls for a "nice girl," as opposed to the hookers he usually hangs out with. In one session with two "working girls" (imagined or possibly real) a man and woman are seen fully nude (a glimpse of male pubic hair and a longer look at female). As per the era, adults smoke cigarettes and much of the action takes place in a bar, so drinking alcohol is also on display. Wise-guy wannabes also play with guns, so there's always a sense that someone is going to get shot, deliberately or accidentally. The violence of a rape is graphic. A man tries to rape a girl he's dating in a car. She escapes and he wrestles her back into the car and rapes her, although the sex isn't shown. Language includes "f-g," "fairy," "damn," and "whore." Some religious imagery. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Here's an unusual look at the early work of a director who would soon after show enormous skill and ability, making it fascinating for students of film and far less interesting for anyone else. Scorsese uses non-actors and employs a little too much improvisation. Teens used to quick-paced, polished, color, expertly-edited blockbusters may view this slow, grainy character study as a lot of boring parts surrounding a bit of soft-core-porn.
That said, Scorsese's visual skills, ingenuity on a low budget, and ability to make the most of raw young acting talent is unmistakable. And note that tWho's That Knocking at My Door? is edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, who has remained a close collaborator through decades of his great films, including Raging Bull, The Age of Innocence, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Goodfellas. Here Scorsese is already tackling a lifelong theme regarding the hypocrisy of church adherents who sin but set strict standards for the behavior of others, as well as Catholic guilt. Interestingly, although nudity and sex and sexual violence are fully on display here, language is tame by today's standards.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.