Novelist Joseph Shearing specialized in using real cases which took place in Victorian England, altering them for fictional purposes. MOSS ROSE in 1947 was the first film to be made from his novels, then in 1948 two of his works were adapted for the screen, this film and THE MARK OF
CAIN. The movie stars Todd as a recently widowed missionary returning to her home in England from Jamaica. During the voyage, she meets Milland, a charming though dangerous rascal who is wanted by police in connection with some unsavory dealings. Milland contracts malaria while onboard the ship
and Todd nurses him back to health. In London, Todd settles into her home, taking in boarders to make ends meet. Milland arrives, moves in, and proclaims his love for her. Todd is thrilled, but it seems rather obvious that Milland is only toying with her. Milland finds some letters written to her
by her friend, Fitzgerald, in which Fitzgerald reveals some of her sexual indiscretions. Since Fitzgerald is now married to the wealthy Huntley, Milland believes he can use the letters to blackmail Fitzgerald. Todd's love for Milland is so great that she goes along with the plan. Huntley, however,
learns of the scheme and also uncovers details of Milland's shady past. Fearing for her lover's safety, Todd poisons Huntley, then remains silent when Fitzgerald is arrested for the murder. Milland has by now genuinely fallen in love with Todd and the two make plans to leave England. Before they
can depart, one of Milland's former lovers shows up and Todd, in a jealous rage, kills Milland, then turns herself into the police.
This is an intriguing film, although a little on the talky side. The performances are excellent throughout, with Milland shining as the cad, the type of role in which he excelled. Though he spent most of his time making films in the US, he occasionally returned to his native England for a
production and this was his first British film since FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS in 1939. Director Allen was also an Englishman who chose to work in the US, this being his first directorial effort in his homeland. This was the fourth and last time Milland and Allen would work together, their pairing
having begun in 1944 with the wonderfully eerie THE UNINVITED.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Novelist Joseph Shearing specialized in using real cases which took place in Victorian England, altering them for fictional purposes. MOSS ROSE in 1947 was the first film to be made from his novels, then in 1948 two of his works were adapted for the screen… (more)