The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Streaming Video - 2015
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A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.
Publisher: [United States] : The Film Detective : Made available through hoopla, 2015
Branch Call Number: EVIDEO HOOPLA
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 116 min.)) : sd., col

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a
akirakato
Dec 15, 2014

This is a 1946 black-and-white film noir directed by Lewis Milestone, based on the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick.
Three youths (Martha, Walter and Sam) are forever bound together by a terrible secret.
Decades later, Martha and Walter are now married.
She's a wealthy, successful industrialist; he's an ambitious District Attorney.
When Sam unexpectedly drifts back into town, however, tensions and suspisions rise.
Is Sam simply back for a visit?
Or is he looking for a payoff to keep their awful secret buried?
Barbara Stanwyck plays Martha.
No one's as good as Barbara Stanwyck when she plays a bad girl.
You could enjoy her performance to the hilt.
It is a gripping, fascinating, thrilling and thought-provoking film noir.

n
Nursebob
Dec 11, 2014

Small town heiress Martha Ivers is stuck in a sexless marriage to up-and-coming D.A. Walter O’Neil. The only thing that seems to keep them together is the fact they share a couple of horrific secrets from their past—-secrets that fuel Martha’s drive for material success while her guilt-addled husband practically sleeps with a bottle of scotch. Enter Sam Masterson, Martha’s childhood sweetheart whom she hasn’t seen in almost twenty years and who may or may not know her dirty secrets. It isn’t long before passions are rekindled, jealousies are ignited, and suspicions escalate into a murderous paranoia which threatens to topple Martha’s carefully constructed empire. A stellar cast (Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Kirk Douglas) give scene-stealing performances in this sterling example of why we love Film Noir. It’s all here: a dark and scandalous plot, stylish dialogue laced with testosterone and erotic innuendo, and the kind of emotionally charged theatrics which practically define the genre—-Lizabeth Scott is especially good as Masterson’s potential new love interest; a husky-voiced siren with a few skeletons of her own. Director Lewis Milestone’s B&W cinematography, filled with stormy nights and fireside seductions, is accompanied by an appropriately menacing orchestral score which propels the story forward without missing some of the finer visual nuances (sometimes a burning log is not just a burning log). Great fun!

m
Monolith
Mar 27, 2013

A killer cast in a powder-keg plot that had the potential to explode, but kinda fizzled out. It was a little heavy on empty threats and too light on follow-through. Stanwyck shined as the salivating femme fatale, however, with her anguished pet jellyfish Kirk submerging himself in scotch. Righteous everyman Heflin's deserved revenge goes disappointingly unrealized for the beatdown initiated by said boozebag, but he seemed content enough just by two-timing ex-con (lol) Lizabeth Scott with the murderer of the cat-killing crone (<--whose nastiness I would've liked to have seen Milestone develop a bit more... Oh well.)

r
richibi
Jun 08, 2012

bound together by a conspiracy of murder a couple of kids grow up to be the no-nonsense Barbara Stanwick and a yet undistinguished Kirk Douglas, in, granted, his very first screen role, having reaped along the way the substantial benefits of their crime, lots of money and lots of power, until an old flame returns, a creepy Van Heflin, to set up the stage with a chance moll - the lovely, sultry, Lizabeth Scott, who substantially spices up the action - the culprits ultimately unnecessary downfall, engaging and torrid, I couldn't put it down

j
Janice21383
Jul 06, 2011

Yet another reason to leave that small town, and join the circus. I am not a wealthy woman, but I would give a lot to understand what is going on here. Not that the story is hard to understand, but there are so many undertones, overtones, and meaningful silences, I feel I am missing something. Probably something Freudian. Stanwyck & Douglas, and Scott & Heflin make cute couples. Too bad they didn't work together more often.

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m
Monolith
Mar 27, 2013

Sailor (waking up after a front-end collision with a pole): "What happened?" Sam Masterson: "The road curved -- I didn't."

m
Monolith
Mar 27, 2013

Hotel clerk: "...There's half as many baths as there is rooms. Half the rooms has baths, and half hasn't; that's one way of looking at it. Another is: for each two rooms one has a bath in the middle, and the other hasn't -- or -- you might say... there's a half a bath to each of two rooms." Sam Masterson: "Now how is that again, now?" Hotel Clerk: "THERE'S HALF AS MANY BATHS AS THERE IS ROOMS..."

m
Monolith
Mar 27, 2013

Martha Ivers: "You look different than you did this morning... Clean, and fresh." Sam Masterson: "Yeahhh... Well, it's the perfume I use that makes me smell so nice. I bet I smell as nice as you and Walter put together."

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