Murder in the Red Barn (1935)

Tod Slaughter has eyes for pretty Maria Marten, but when she spurns him he's not happy at all.

Maria Marten, or The Murder in the Red Barn is a 1935 in film British film melodrama film starring Tod Slaughter and Eric Portman. It was directed by Milton Rosmer, whose most famous film was the English-language version of Emil and the Detectives that same year. It is based on the true story of the 1827 Red Barn Murder. The film is also known as Murder in the Red Barn (short UK title).
The film is based on the popular 19th century melodramas about the case and is highly theatrical, with an opening in which all the characters are introduced by a Master of Ceremonies in front of a painted backdrop, but is also slightly more lavishly produced and cinematically inventive than the later films directed by Tod Slaughter's producer George King (film director). Slaughter gives a full-throated over-the-top performance in a calculatedly melodramatic style, encouraging the audience to vicariously share in his villainy; this approach became his trademark and gives his films a cult status of their own peculiar kind.

Plot summary

The unfortunately-surnamed actor Tod Slaughter, in his film debut, plays William Corderes, the lover who seduces then murders innocent country maiden Maria Marten (Sophie Stewart) in the red barn before burying her body beneath the barn floor.


  • Tod Slaughter as Squire William Corder
  • Sophie Stewart as Maria Marten
  • D. J. Williams (actor) as Farmer Thomas Marten
  • Eric Portman as Carlos, the gypsy
  • Clare Greet as Mrs. Marten
  • Gerard Tyrell as Timothy Winterbottom
  • Ann Trevor as Nan, the maid
  • Stella Rho as Gypsey Crone
  • Dennis Hoey as Gambling Winner
  • Quentin McPhearson as Matthew Sennett
  • Antonia Brough as Maud Sennett
  • Noel Dainton as Officer Steele of the Bow Street Runners


Category:1935 films
Category:British films
Category:British crime thriller films
Category:1930s crime films
Category:1930s drama films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films directed by Milton Rosmer


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