Adapted from a play that was based on a real-life murder case from 1827, although the play (and film) presented a highly sensationalized and sentimental version of the story. The real Maria Marten was hardly the innocent, virginal young thing as seen here; by the time of her murder she had already borne two children out of wedlock and was notoriously free with her affections. She had also had a child by Corder (with whom she was having a consensual affair), which either died or was murdered. (The character of her other "good" lover is a complete fiction.) Marten's stepmother claimed to have dreams where Maria's ghost led her to the spot where her body was later found; later researchers have speculated that the stepmother (only a few years older than Maria) was an accomplice to the murder. Corder was the same age group as Maria; the Victorian melodramas made him into an older man and very much a stereotypical upper-crust villain. Much was written about it at the time and fascination with the case continued well into the 20th century. See more »
Squire William Corder:
Didn't I make you a promise, Maria? I promised to make you a bride. Don't be afraid, Maria. You shall be a bride...a bride of Death!
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Another Tod Slaughter film, this time he plays (what a shock) a rich man who tries to steal a poor girl from another Gypsy man. I believe this is my fifth or sixth Slaughter film and he actually manages to not go over the top here. He plays it rather straight and this helps the more dramatic moments of the film and the plot twists are actually pretty good. This film is based on a play, which I'm sure ran longer than this film's 59-minute running time so I'm sure a lot of good material was cut from the film, which is the biggest problem.
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