Once three childhood friends: now a ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., and a returning companion who was the only witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
In 1928, young heiress Martha Ivers fails to run off with friend Sam Masterson, and is involved in fatal events. Years later, Sam returns to find Martha the power behind Iverstown and married to "good boy" Walter O'Neil, now district attorney. At first, Sam is more interested in displaced blonde Toni Marachek than in his boyhood friends; but they draw him into a convoluted web of plotting and cross-purposes. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Knowing absolutely NOTHING about this movie (apart from it being the screen debut of Kirk Douglas) I thought it was going to be a potboiler, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It veers between Noir and melodrama, and I gotta say I was hooked from the get go. I'm not the biggest Barbara Stanwyck fan in the world, but she was well cast as the ruthless matriarch of a small town, and Douglas really pulled off an unusual role for him (basically a drunken wimp). Van Heflin ('Shane') plays the "hero" and holds his own against those two, and I also really liked Lizabeth Scott, an actress I'm not familiar with, who plays Heflin's love interest (sorta). 'The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers' will please fans of 1940s Noir. It deserves to be better known than it is.
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