WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR focuses on three low-life New York wise-guy wannabes who drink, smoke, party, and sleep with prostitutes (sex scenes feature full nudity), but have no qualms about setting higher standards for the behavior of others. J.R. (Harvey Keitel) seems to be the one guy who has the potential to be better than the idiots he hangs out with. When they take a trip to the countryside, Joey (Lennard Kuras) complains nonstop, but J.R. appreciates the beauty of nature, and he's a film buff with good taste. He falls for a far more refined girl (Zina Bethune) than the prostitutes/"loose" women he usually hangs out with, and when he stands in her studio apartment filled with jazz records and books, including Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night," he seems both interested and fearful that he doesn't measure up. When they finally have a sexual encounter, he refuses to go any farther than kissing and touching, but won't explain that he's serious about her and, as a Catholic, won't have sex with her until after marriage. When she later reveals that she was date-raped (shown in a disturbingly violent flashback), he's angry, accusing her of lying to him to cover up the fact that she's already had sex. She's clearly ashamed that she was raped and understands that he would see her as tainted goods. After their breakup, he returns to her, hesitatingly apologizes, and tells her that he's still willing to marry her despite her second-class status. She stands up for herself, and says "no," explaining that he would always "find a way to bring it up." He says "damn right," and calls her a whore. He goes to church to confess, surrounded by jump cuts of religious statuary depicting the crucifixion, Christ's wounds, and the Virgin Mary's grief.