Moss Rose (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gregory Ratoff|
|Produced by||Gene Markey|
|Screenplay by||Niven Busch
|Based on||the novel The Crime of Laura Saurelle
by Joseph Shearing
|Music by||David Buttolph|
|Editing by||James B. Clark|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||82 minutes|
Set in Victorian London, the story concerns a music hall chorus girl who blackmails a gentleman after seeing him leave the house where another dancer was found murdered. Instead of accepting money she demands to be invited to the man's stately home to experience the life of a lady. The woman becomes friends with the man's family but her peace is disturbed when a police inspector arrives to question them about the murder. Then another murder is committed in similar circumstances.
- Peggy Cummins as Belle Adair aka Rose Lynton
- Victor Mature as Michael Drego
- Ethel Barrymore as Lady Margaret Drego
- Vincent Price as Police Inspector R. Clinner
- Margo Woode as Daisy Arrow
- George Zucco as Craxton, the butler
- Patricia Medina as Audrey Ashton
- Rhys Williams as Deputy Inspector Evans
The film was a commercial disappointment. Darryl F. Zanuck called it "a catastrophe, for which I blame myself. Our picture was not as good as the original script and the casting was atrocious. The property lost $1,300,000 net."
When the film was released, The New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther, praised the film, writing, "Readers of thriller fiction have been talking for quite some time about a writer called Joseph Shearing, whose many period mysteries are said to have a flavor and distinction all their own. And now it appears that film-goers will have reason to join the claque, if all of this author's output is as adaptable as the first to reach the screen. For Moss Rose, the first of several promised Shearing films, which hit the Roxy yesterday, is a suave and absorbing mystery thriller, neatly plotted and deliciously played ... Thanks to a splendid performance by Peggy Cummins in the role of the girl, there is something to watch when she is acting besides the consequence of the makeup artist's work. Her job as the Cockney chorine has spirit, humor and brass—and a surprisingly tender quality which nicely rounds the role."
The staff at Variety magazine also gave the film a positive review. They wrote, "Moss Rose is good whodunit. Given a lift by solid trouping and direction, melodrama is run off against background of early-day England that provides effective setting for theme of destructive mother love ... Gregory Ratoff's direction develops considerable flavor to the period melodramatics. He gets meticulous performances from players in keeping with mood of piece."
- Moss Rose at the TCM Movie Database.
- Memo from Darryl F Zanuck to Charlie Feldman, 7 June 1950, Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck, Grove Press 1993 p 168.
- Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, "Moss Rose Mystery Thriller at the Roxy Theatre, Offers Peggy Cummins and Victor Mature in the Principal Roles", July 3, 1947. Accessed: July 14, 2013.
- Variety. Staff film review, 1947. Accessed: July 14, 2013.