The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
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Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) is driving west when he decides to go through Iverstown. He has a car accident and has to stay in town until his car is fixed. He meets a young woman, Toni Marachek (Lizabeth Scott), just out of jail and on probation for a crime she wasn't guilty of. Sam decides to go to the district attorney to see if he can help her. Years before as young kids, Sam and the DA, Walter O'Neil (Kirk Douglas), were sort-of friends, tied together by their friendship with Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck).
Now O'Neil is married to Martha. He's running for re-election. Martha inherited Ivers Industries and is the wealthiest woman in town. She's a force to be reckoned with. She inherited millions when her aunt fell down a flight of stairs 18 years ago...the night she and Sam were planning to run off, when Walter was in the house with her and Sam. Her aunt (Judith Anderson), a rigid, disapproving, condescending woman, fell with the help of a crack on the head from a cane wielded by Martha. A few years later a man was hanged for the crime, prosecuted by Walter with testimony from Martha. They married and now live a loveless life, with Walter still the uncertain and sometimes scared child he used to be and Martha a controlling woman. Walter drinks heavily and Martha is contemptuous of him.Read more ›
The story starts out in 1928 in a small industrial town known as Iverstown. A young teenage girl named Martha Ivers and a teenage boy named Sam Masterson try to hop a train and escape. Martha is caught and is returned to her wealthy aunt's mansion. The animosity between Martha and her aunt is a volatile as fire and gasoline. That same evening a boy named Walter O'Neil and his father visit the Ivers' mansion to take credit for helping the police find Martha with the unspoken expectation of receiving a major reward, but only receive a poultry payment of ice cream and cake for Walter. Later that evening there is a power outage and Sam sneaks into the Ivers Mansion in hopes of taking Martha away on the next train out of town. Martha's aunt goes upstairs to see what is going on, while Sam narrowly escapes as a fight ensues between Martha and her aunt. With Walter watching, Martha strikes her aunt with her aunt's walking cane and she topples down a long staircase and immediately dies. With Walter O'Neil's interests in mind, Walter's father ignores any hint of foulplay by Martha and wishfully believes Martha's story that her aunt was murdered by an unknown intruder and reports this crime to the police. Meanwhile Sam hops a circus train and leaves Iverstown.
Fast forward to 1946 and we find an alchoholic Walter (played by Kirk Douglas) and Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) are now married to each other. Walter is the local District Attorney and Martha is the sole heiress to the Ivers' industrial empire. Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) passes through Iverstown for the first time since 1928, but has a minor car accident and decides to stay in town overnight to get his car fixed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of the best film noirs EVER! looks great good price and lizbeth scott HUBAHUBA!!Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great film, the story is second to none. The quality of the print very clear and sharp, a must for the serious collector.Published 1 month ago by West Montgomery
This is one of my favorite Barbara Stanwyck film Noir movies. It's deliciously wicked. Well acted for the era, It makes for a great Sunday afternoon movie. Read morePublished 9 months ago by A Bradford
I have seen 1000's upon 1000's of films from silents on up and I was very happy to come across this Noir/Melodrama hybrid movie in the past. Read morePublished 13 months ago by g
This film has not aged well but it is interesting to see what people found entertaining. This one must have been in public domain for a long time because it's been easily available... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joe Collector