Who's That Knocking at My Door?
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Shot over a period of several years and shown under the alternate titles I Call First and J.R., Martin Scorsese's debut feature is an autobiographical look at the conflicted life of a young, Italian-American, Catholic man in early 1960s New York. J.R. (then-unknown Harvey Keitel) spends his days and nights hanging out with his buddies in Little Italy, going to the movies, goofing around, and looking to score with "broads." When he meets The Girl (Zina Bethune) on the Staten Island ferry, she rocks his world with a shared admiration for John Ford's The Searchers (1956). A… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Zina Bethune, as the girl, is believable but Harvey Keitel, as the anti-hero, is alternatively boorish or bewildered."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"As a film, it has something to say to everyone. As a technical achievement, it brings together two opposing worlds of American cinema."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A rough yet hyper-sensitive film forever luxuriating in sensation"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"A crudely shot but effective film that not only introduced us to Scorsese but several of the themes around religion, love and gender that he's continued to explore even in his more recent films."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views
"In the aggressive self-confidence, the use of rock music, and the perceptive observation, Scorsese reveals an anthropological feel for street life and the attitudes of male adolescence."
‑ , Time Out
"[It] can be read as a rather rough draft of Mean Streets."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Problems aside, this film is a fascinating look at the creative development of one of the new American cinema's most important directors and well worth a look."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Son of Shadows"
‑ Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central
"The director, who also wrote the original story and screenplay, hasn't succeeded in making a drama that is really much more aware than the characters themselves."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The crude semi-autobiographical film is a forerunner to Scorsese's powerful Mean Streets."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Like all his films, Scorsese's debut, about an Italian-American youth (Keitel) caught between an affair with upper-crust blonde and the lure of gang life, has strong personal elements; the milieu and characters would reaappear in the classic Mean Streets"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A wonderfully inspiring low-budget feature, with more than just an inkling of the treats to come."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Who's That Knocking at My Door? on Rotten Tomatoes