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.
The screenplay was adapted by Niven Busch from the Joseph Shearing novel. It’s a sombre story of a mother who kills to keep from losing her son. First death comes to music-hall girl romanced by Victor Mature. Latter is seen leaving the girl’s room by Peggy Cummins, who protects Mature in turn for his taking her to visit his mother at a country estate. Next victim is Patricia Medina, Mature’s proper fiancee.
Gregory Ratoff’s direction develops considerable flavor to the period melodramatics. He gets meticulous performances from players in keeping with mood of piece. Cummins is unusually interesting: English pronunciation, at first broad and then becoming more educated, is a trick she uses to develop character of musichall girl who uses her knowledge of murder to satisfy a childhood desire. It’s a well-rounded portrayal. Mature handles his sombre character of a well-bred Englishman expertly.