Tod Slaughter was vastly underrated as an actor. This was his movie debut, at the ripe old age of 50. This movie is just so watchable, even now, some 66 years after it's first release. Tod plays the villainous squire Corder, a man of questionable morals, with a penchant for the young ladies of his locality. Sophie Stewart is the young lady that is drawn to the charms of the smooth-talking squire, oblivious of the attentions of the besotted gypsy Carlos. Alas, it transpires to be her undoing, and the lovely Maria of the title is done to death by that dastardly rogue Corder. The rest of the film is devoted to the eventual unmasking of the killer, and him getting his just desserts for that foul deed. Let's face it, there are so many films from this era that just don't quite stand up to scrutiny by the modern-day viewer, but appreciate this film for what it really is...a melodramatic masterpiece from the late, great N. Carter Slaughter.
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