The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Overview

In The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, relationships formed in childhood lead to murder and obsessive love. The wealthy Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) is the prime mover of the small Pennsylvania town of Iverston. She lives in a huge mansion with her DA husband Walter O'Neill (Kirk Douglas), an alcoholic weakling. No one knows just why Martha and Walter tolerate one another, but Sam Masterson (Van Heflin), an Iverstown boy who returns to town, may just have a clue. At least that's what Martha thinks when Sam asks ...
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Overview

In The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, relationships formed in childhood lead to murder and obsessive love. The wealthy Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) is the prime mover of the small Pennsylvania town of Iverston. She lives in a huge mansion with her DA husband Walter O'Neill (Kirk Douglas), an alcoholic weakling. No one knows just why Martha and Walter tolerate one another, but Sam Masterson (Van Heflin), an Iverstown boy who returns to town, may just have a clue. At least that's what Martha thinks when Sam asks Walter to intervene in the case of Toni Marachek (Lizabeth Scott), who has been unjustly imprisoned. It seems that as a young boy Sam was in the vicinity when Martha's rich aunt (Judith Anderson) met with her untimely demise. What does Sam know? And what dark, horrible secret binds Martha and Walter together? Directed by Lewis Milestone and based on John Patrick's Oscar-nominated original story, Love Lies Bleeding, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers creates in Martha a unique and interesting, driven, obsessed, and spoiled character, but one not without sympathy. Barbara Stanwyck is outstanding as Martha, with her predatory smile and sharp, manicured nails. Kirk Douglas is surprisingly convincing as a lost, sad, weak man who loves his wife but is unable to gain her respect. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers eventually lapsed into public domain and became a ubiquitous presence on cable television.
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Special Features

Biography; Facts & trivia; Special collector's photo gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Something of a warm-up for the later The File on Thelma Jordan, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers mixes obsession, desire, delusion, ambition, and fear into a fascinating and enthralling tangle. Unusual for a movie of its period, it's fairly sophisticated in dealing with what is, at heart, a "sick" relationship between Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) and Walter O'Neil (Kirk Douglas), and demonstrating how easily a person (Sam Masterson [Van Heflin]) can get sucked into one. Fortunately for Masterson, he gets out in time, but it's a pretty narrow escape. Ivers is a remarkably tense film, although it's a tension that tends to linger beneath the surface; this is appropriate, as it reflects the turmoil and anxiety that lies under the calm surface of Ivers' and O'Neil's lives. That tension gives the film its life and strange vibrancy, and gives snap to even mundane scenes. There are some problems, notably the fact that the creators don't really seem to have a grasp on Masterson's motivation after the idea of blackmail enters the picture. Is he really interested in the money or is it a plot to get to the bottom of the Martha mystery? But the compelling, multi-layered performances of the stars (including Lizabeth Scott) more than make up for the few flaws in the script.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2003
  • UPC: 011891970297
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Tgg Direct
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:57:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,927

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Martha Ivers
Roman Bohnen Mr. O'Neil
Van Heflin Sam Masterson
Charles D. Brown Special Investigator
Lizabeth Scott Toni Marachek
Ann Doran Bobbi St. John
Kirk Douglas Walter O'Neil
Judith Anderson Mrs. Ivers
James Flavin Detective No. I
Darryl Hickman Sam Masterson as a Boy
Frank Orth Hotel Clerk
Tommy Ryan
Janis Wilson Maftha Ivers, as a girl
Billy Burt
Tom Schamp
Mickey Kuhn Walter O'Neil, as a boy
Matt McHugh Bus Driver
Catherine Craig French Maid
Sayre Dearing Crap Shooter
Max Wagner 2nd Detective
Tom Fadden Taxi Driver
Gladden James John O. Butler
Bert Roach Man
John Kellogg Detective
Al Murphy Waiter
Kay Deslys Jail Matron
Bob Perry Bartender
Blake Edwards Sailor
Betty Hill Waitress
Kernan Cripps Policeman
Thomas Lockyear Lynch:Butler
Walter S. Baldwin Dempsey the Garage Owner
Robert E. Homans Policeman
Olin Howland Newspaper Clerk
Tom Dillon Detective
Technical Credits
Lewis Milestone Director
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Hans Dreier Art Director
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward Heyman Songwriter
Harold Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Archie Marshek Editor
John Meehan Art Director
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
John Patrick Original Story, Screenwriter
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Robert Rossen Screenwriter
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer, Songwriter
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jerry Welch Set Decoration/Design
Wally Westmore Makeup
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [25:33]
2. Chapter 2 [46:37]
3. Chapter 3 [43:32]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Chapter Index
   Film Info
   Film Trivia
   Biography
   Photo Gallery
   Diamond
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