Features and Columns · Movies

The Story of How Scorsese’s First Movie Saw The Light of Day

Turns out it takes a village to make a Martin Scorsese debut feature. Or at least one Haig Manoogian.
Who's That Knocking At My Door
By  · Published on December 9th, 2022

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at Martin Scorsese’s first movie, Who’s That Knocking at My Door?

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but stories about directorial debuts scratch a very specific itch in my silly little brain.

I can’t get enough of scrappy debut tidbits: from Sam Raimi and company using hot coffee to keep his hands warm on the frigid set of The Evil Dead … to Chris Penn wearing that track jacket in Reservoir Dogs because there was essentially no costume budget.

There’s almost always a lesson of endurance and grit in these stories. With a side of OSHA violations, of course. And while the story of  Martin Scorsese‘s debut feature has plenty of scrappy energy, as the video essay below underlines, his tale is less about raw, chaotic genius, so much as a good reminder that none of our favorite filmmakers got to where they got on their own.

So, without further ado, here’s the story of how Scorsese (and a gaggle of mentors and friends) made what would ultimately become Who’s That Knocking on my Door?

Watch “How Scorsese’s First Feature Was Saved From Disaster”

Who made this?

This video on how Martin Scorsese’s first feature film — Who’s That Knocking at My Door —  was made is by Andrew Saladino, who runs the Texas-based Royal Ocean Film Society. You can browse their back catalog of videos on their Vimeo account here. If Vimeo isn’t your speed, you can give them a follow on YouTube here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).