7.5/10
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92 user 38 critic

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

Once three childhood friends. Now, a ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., and a returning companion who may have been the only witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.

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(screenplay), (story "Love Lies Bleeding") (as Jack Patrick)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Sam - As a Child
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Bobbi St. John
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Charles D. Brown ...
McCarthy
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Whisper HER NAME See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

13 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Lies Bleeding  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 12, 1947 with Van Heflin reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

During the scene when Martha and Sam are standing by the campfire, the amount of smoke varies drastically from angle to angle. See more »

Quotes

Toni Marachek: [offering a hotel room Gideon's Bible] I'll loan you a book for a couple of cigarettes, if you don't mind what kind of a book it is.
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Soundtracks

Strange Love
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sadism...Sex...Stanwyck
10 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

With all of the schemes, intrigue, sexual undertones and murder this is a very rare and so incredibly original post-wartime movie.

Many have cited this as the inspiration for the much later 'Neo-Noir' alongside, another Stanwyck classic 'Double Indemnity'.

Unlike the latter feature, this film is not filled with cold and brooding images.

The film starts off dramatically with a strong cameo by Judith 'Mrs. Danvers' Anderson. The teen-aged actors that portray Stanwyck's, Heflin's, and Douglas's characters as youths deliver very moving performances.

They capture the tension of murderess Martha's wicked deed. The teen-aged actors pull off the difficult task of linking their characters with the mature characters- a great start to this bold film.

Personally, Barbara Stanwyck is the best of the 'Golden Hollywood' queens, and displays why with this subtle yet sly performance. Unlike many of the other criminals she portrayed, Barbara is cold-blooded rather than hysterically evil and occasionally reveals the blood that boils behind her gray eyes.

Her lethal attraction to Heflin is passionate at the same time as chilling. It is a true triumph that the colourful relationship between the two sizzles on the screen without the use of lush, colourful cinematography! The black and white colour highlights the gloom of the piece.

Van Heflin swaggers through the film, giving a satisfactory performance as the wronged kid 'from the wrong side of the tracks'. Many have praised Lizabeth Scott for her sultry performance as the equally dubious Toni Marachek. This is true. She is a worthy foe for Stanwyck, and in some scenes does steal the attention away from her co-stars.

Now, many have criticised Kirk Douglas's performance as over-acted and unconvincing. I have to disagree. Perhaps for many audiences, it is too much of a shock to see the usually rugged, manly Douglas playing an unstable Daddy's boy manipulated by his wife, and cowardly towards the end. It is a difficult role, but Douglas retains the wimpish quality of Walter from start to finish, also depending on the actions and control of his unbalanced wife.

Towering performances, a gloomy soundtrack, and dark cinematography make this feature dazzle as one of the best 'film noir' genre produced in the 1940s.

Lizabeth Scott in particular gives a commanding performance, which generates interest, glamour and suspicion. These are the stem of the themes to this great film.

Brilliant as it was 59 years ago!


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