Murder in the Red Barn (August 18, 1936)

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Murder in the Red Barn
 

Released on August 18, 1936: A young pregnant girl is killed in the red barn of the town squire and her gypsy boyfriend is accused of the crime.

Directed by Milton Rosmer

The Actors: Tod Slaughter (Squire William Corder), Sophie Stewart (Maria Marten), D.J. Williams (Farmer Thomas Marten), Eric Portman (Carlos, gypsy), Clare Greet (Mrs. Marten), Gerard Tyrell (Timothy Winterbottom), Ann Trevor (Nan the maid), Stella Rho (gypsy fortune teller), Dennis Hoey (gambling winner), Quentin McPhearson (Matthew Sennett), Antonia Brough (Maud Sennett), Noel Dainton (Officer Sttele of the Bow Street Runners), J. Leslie Frith (lawyer), Herbert Leonard (Compere), Lester Sharpe (bandleader Withey), Tom Payne (jailer), Gerrard Tyrell (unknown)

 

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London Stage Drama on Film

Before the invention of motion picture film the only way to see a great story was to watch it acted out on stage in a live performance. Unfortunately only relatively wealthy people who lived in larger cities had the opportunity to see great actors performing great stories. Motion pictures brought great actors and great stories to all people of modest means, and not only to them, but to people like you and I who were not even born when the performance was made. This motion picture is more London stage performance than movie. It even begins with a stage manager in front of a theater curtain introducing the main actors before the performance begins. And just as if we are sitting in a theater audience the actors speak and act as if on stage. I don't know how to describe their speech, but you will understand when you hear them - they speak in large tones with sentences formed as if by a great author instead of in casual conversation. During the first few minutes I thought that this would be a real downer . . . more like a school assignment than a fun hour of entertainment . . . but I was so very, very wrong . . . I was soon into the story and the characters and engrossed in the story plot. The story is so well written that even though I always knew that these were actors performing a play, I found myself trying unsuccessfully to predict where the plot would go next. The story is based on a true case from 1828 in Polstead, Suffolk England. The actual red barn that hosted most of the action and the grave of the murder victim still stands and famous crime author Ruth Rendell now lives on the property. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

Ann Trevor and Stella Rho
Ann Trevor and Stella Rho
Ann Trevor
Ann Trevor
Clare Greet as mother Marten
Clare Greet as mother Marten
D.J. Williams and Tod Slaughter
D.J. Williams and Tod Slaughter
D.J. Williams as farmer Marten
D.J. Williams as farmer Marten
Dennis Hoey
Dennis Hoey
Eric Portman and Sophie Stewart
Eric Portman and Sophie Stewart
Eric Portman as Carlos the gypsy
Forrest Taylor in Danger, Women at Work
Eric Portman kisses Sophie Stewart
Eric Portman kisses Sophie Stewart
Gerard Tyrell and Ann Trevor
Gerard Tyrell and Ann Trevor
Sophie Stewart and Eric Portman
Sophie Stewart and Eric Portman
Sophie Stewart visits Tod Slaughter
Sophie Stewart visits Tod Slaughter
Stella Rho the gypsy fortune teller
Stella Rho the gypsy fortune teller
Tod SLaughter and Antonia Brough
Tod SLaughter and Antonia Brough
Tod Slaughter as Squire William Corder
Tod Slaughter as Squire William Corder