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Strange Love Of Martha Ivers(1946)


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Iverstown 1920s.MRS Ivers(Judith Anderson)owns a large factory.Her neice,Martha(Janis Wilson)hates her aunt and wants to leave,She plans to run away with Sam Masterson(Darryl Hickman)a boy who wants to also leave to get away from his drunken father.Marthas tutor,MR ONeil(Roman Bohnen)and his son Walter(Mickey Kuhn)live with the Ivers.Martha is caught and brought back.Sam returns to say goodbye to Marha,but she still insists on going along.When MRS Ivers catches Martha leaving she kills her aunt.Sam gets away in the confusion and when the police come Martha tells them it was a worker at the company who killed her aunt.Walter and his father go along with Martha.



1946,Sam(Van Heflin)returns from WW2 and finds Iverstown is run by Martha(Barbra Stanwyk)and shes married to Walter(Kirk Douglas)the local DA.Sams gets into a accident with his car and while killing time in Iverstown meets Toni Marachek(Lizabeth Scott)a girl out of jail on a false charge.The conditions of Tonis prohibation is she must return to her drunken father.Toni wants no part of it and decides to go away with Sam when he leaves Iverstown.The next day Toni is arrested and Sam goes to Walter to get her out.Sam meets Martha and she finds shes still in love with him and she hates Walter who is a worthless drunk.



Walter thinks that Sam knows the truth about Marthas aunt and suspects blackmail.



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I really enjoy this movie because of the 4 stars and how different their characters are from each other. Liz Scott never looked better and while she isn't a great actress by any means she pulls her weight in this one. Van Hefin is at his best. He is a classic noir character; very ambiguous. We don't know what he is thinking or planning. Of course what makes the movie interesting is that Walter and Martha think they know exactly what Sam is planning. But of course they are wrong and because of their misguided actions they cause their own demise.



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  • 11 months later...
  • 5 years later...

I've loved this film ever since I saw it for the first time (about 13 years ago). Since then, I have bought the DVD and I've seen it multiple times. Excellent film: good storyline, well acted, etc. The first 15 minutes (or so) are gothic, and the rest of the film is noir. I love the selection of actors, including Judith Anderson and Roman Bohnen (both had small parts).

Two things, though:

1. When Martha and Walter claim that a man came in, killed her aunt, and left through the front door, wouldn't the cops have noticed that there were no wet footsteps going in and out of the house? It was pouring outside! The stairs and Mrs. Ivers would have been wet, too. Their story should have been considered false from the start.

2. Why did Walter and his dad try to control Martha after the crime was committed? They weren't in a position to tell on her. If they did, all she had to do was to say that Walter was a witness to the crime and Walter would have been in trouble, too. Once Walter lied for Martha, he was part of the crime as well.

Doesn't matter about these plot holes. I still love this film.

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2 hours ago, Moorman said:

I got to check this out.

If you haven't seen The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers,  I recommend you do.

Van Hefin is first rate in this film,  and of course Stanwyck is great.    Douglas and Scott were just starting out but they hold their own.     The plot is interesting and very noir.


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  • 6 months later...

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