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The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Photos

Movie Info

Young Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) inadvertently causes the death of her cruel, authoritarian aunt. Martha lies to the cops, and Walter (Kirk Douglas), who saw the crime, corroborates the girl's story. Eventually, they wed out of convenience; the meek Walter is genuinely in love, and Martha thinks that her secret is safe since she has married the one witness to her aunt's death. However, when her childhood pal, Sam (Van Heflin), shows up, Martha knows her dark past may not stay a secret for long.

Cast & Crew

Van Heflin
Sam Masterson
Kirk Douglas
Walter O'Neil
Lizabeth Scott
Toni Marachek
Darryl Hickman
Sam Masterson as a boy
Roman Bohnen
Mr. O'Neil
Ann Doran
Bobbi St. John
John Patrick
Screenwriter
Robert Rossen
Screenwriter
Victor Milner
Cinematographer
Miklós Rózsa
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

  • Apr 06, 2019
    One of the best film noirs ever made. It's a shame there isn't (to my knowledge) an excellent print of the movie. Nonetheless, this movie is loaded with excellent performances, fine direction and a deep story. that holds up decades later.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 03, 2018
    Rarely has a film about deep-rooted psychosis been presented with such an even-handed touch. Van Heflin plays a normal guy (yeah, quirky maybe, and damaged, but basically normal) who returns to the scene of his twisted formative years to discover two of his old friends have not fared as well. Oh, they might be rich, but they're as messed up as can be. Babs Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas are little more than two-dimensional examples of their neuroses but both manage to imbue their characters with necessary depth. One of the better films that you will ever see.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2017
    There are a few good moments in this noir film from 1946, and it's a fine cast with Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Kirk Douglas, but overall it's overwrought, muddled, and I have to say, about 30 minutes too long. It starts off strong enough, with a young girl accidentally killing her cruel aunt during a thunderstorm in a house without power, in front of a boy who is a friend of the family and her boyfriend who she had intended to run away with. Flash forward 17-18 years, and Van Heflin (the boy who ran away on his own) returns to find the other two (Stanwyck and Douglas) married and in positions of great power in the town. Perhaps one character who confuses the script more than she's worth is Lizabeth Scott, playing a love interest of Heflin's. The film degenerates into melodrama, a confusion of motivations, dramatic music that will remind you of the old Star Trek series, and poor dialogue. It is interesting towards the end as Heflin tries to determine who the evil mastermind is between Stanwyck and Douglas, but the ending itself is poor. This one is overrated, and it's hard to understand the high review scores.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2010
    Black-and-white film noir released in the United States in 1946, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and an young Kirk Douglas in his film debut. The movie is based on the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick, using the pseudonym Jack Patrick, and was produced by Hal B. Wallis. The screenplay was written by Robert Rossen and Robert Riskin, who was not credited, and was directed by Lewis Milestone. The film was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film FestivalOn a rainy night in 1928 in a Pennsylvania factory town called Iverstown, Martha Ivers (Janis Wilson), a young girl yearning to escape from the guardianship of her wealthy, domineering aunt, is caught trying to run away with her friend, the street-smart, poor Sam Masterson (Darryl Hickman).[2] Martha is taken home. Later that night, Sam comes for her, but hides when her aunt hears Martha's beloved cat wandering on the staircase. When Mrs. Ivers attacks the pet with her cane Martha intervenes, with fatal consequences. Dark and shadly with depressing atmosphere this is a great movie.
    Andre T Super Reviewer

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