Who's That Knocking at My Door?


Genres: Drama

Life Itself: Martin Scorsese

Transcript for Life Itself: Martin Scorsese

Let’s go to Roger’s Office for his look at Scorsese’s first movies. 


Earlier in this show we reviewed Martin Scorsese's first 3D film, HUGO. That brought me back to my first memories of Scorsese as related in my memoir, "Life Itself." (Show photo of book) Hello, I'm Bill Kurtis speaking for Roger Ebert.

In the Autumn of 1967 I had been a film critic seven months…I was twenty-five…I saw a movie named I Call First, later to be re-titled Who’s That Knocking OMy Door If I was sure of anything, it was that it was the work of a natural director.


I identified with the movie’s rock and roll, and indeed I Call First was the first movie I recall seeing with a sound track that was not a composed score, but cobbled together from 45 RPM records… I had seen great films, I had in truth seen greater films, but never one that so grabbed me.


Perhaps it was because of that experience that I became a film critic, instead of simply working as one.


(Scorsese’s) His greatest film is Raging Bull and it is an act of self-redemption. In a period before it, he’d fallen on hard times.


One day in the hospital, De Niro walked in and threw a book about Jake LaMotta on the bed. “I think we should do this,” He said...

Certainly there is more of LaMotta in Scorsese than some will realize.

Since his first work, Scorsese has never disappointed me by making an unworthy film. He has made a few films that, he confided, he “needed” to do to get other films made, but if it is true, for example, that After Hours was done simply to distract him from the heartbreak of the first cancellation of The Last Temptation of Christ, it is also true that After Hours is one of his best films.

A director like Scorsese tends to go deep.