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      The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

      Released Jul 24, 1946 1h 56m Drama List
      100% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 74% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings 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. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      Derek Adams Time Out A gripping film noir, all the more effective for being staged by Milestone as a steamy romantic melodrama. Feb 9, 2006 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Pervaded by his guilty-liberal fascination with power and money. Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Sean Burns Crooked Marquee In the hands of a great visual stylist (like Rossen himself) the movie could have been a masterpiece. As is, it’s still a corker. Apr 4, 2023 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh TheArtsStl ...offers the great pleasures that can come from watching a well-made film that is happy to exploit genre conventions for all they’re worth. Rated: 8/10 Dec 8, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A sturdy melodrama-cum-film noir. Rated: 3/4 Nov 7, 2022 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is one of those really dark films noir that tends to get away with more than it seems to be getting away with. Jul 2, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Jeff S Kirk Douglas is unrelenting, Barbara Stanwyck is chilling, and there's no dearth of twists in this dark tale. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/24 Full Review Bradley H Films don't get much better. Van Heflin is superb as well as Lizabeth Scott. Stanwyck carries away the unhinged rich psychopath role with ease. Amazing film noir dialogue that's been played homage to over the years. Well worth every minute. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/19/23 Full Review John T A brilliant film noir with fantastic performances. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/15/23 Full Review Matthew B "The road curved, but I didn't." The dilemma of the characters in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is summarised in this line, which is said twice by the movie's hero, Sam Masterson (Van Heflin). How does one follow a straight path in life when the road that we are on is crooked? To refuse to curve, as Masterson tries to do, is to risk crashing. To bend along the path that life takes you is to risk becoming permanently twisted out of shape. The struggle to follow an honourable course in an indecent world is the traditional dilemma of the film noir hero, and Martha Ivers is a mixture of film noir and operatic melodrama. The film noir elements can be found in the look of the film – all shadows and unusual camera angles. The movie also has many film noir motifs – the compromised hero trying to do the right thing, the cracked actors that stand in his way, and the seedy underbelly of criminal activities. Not to mention the choice between two women (representing two possible futures), a more wholesome woman who could save him, and a femme fatale who will drag him into a situation from which he will not get away unscathed, and will be lucky to escape alive. The melodramatic side of the film can be found in its Grand-Guignol approach towards the story. There is the large Gothic house lit by a thunderstorm which frightens the movie's heroine. There is the macabre mother figure. And of course there is a terrible crime at the beginning of the movie that will reverberate throughout the rest of the proceedings. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is perhaps not in the top league of film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s, but it is still a decent and entertaining movie. The director Lewis Milestone does a competent job of telling a story which combines sleazy film noir with theatrical melodrama. I wrote a longer appreciation of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/the-strange-love-of-martha-ivers-1946/ Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 09/18/23 Full Review Steve D Wonderfully acted semi-thriller. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/03/23 Full Review Daniel S Well cast, solid performances. The plot intensifies by the minute with intriguing twists right up until the last. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis 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.
      Director
      Lewis Milestone
      Producer
      Hal B. Wallis
      Screenwriter
      John Patrick, Robert Rossen
      Distributor
      Laserlight Entertainment, Reel Media International [us], Master Movies, Kino Video, Paramount Pictures, Lumivision
      Production Co
      Paramount Pictures, Hal Wallis Productions
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 24, 1946, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 11, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 56m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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