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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>
In 1928, in Iverstown, the heiress Martha Smith Ivers is caught by the police for the fourth time while trying to runaway home with her friend Sam Masterson. She hates her aunt Mrs. Ivers (Judith Anderson) and while in her room with her tutor's son Walter O'Neil and Sam later, the power runs out and she asks Sam to bring her cat back to the room. When Sam is trying to catch the cat in the dark, her aunt comes to the staircase and Sam hides himself. Mrs. Ivers hits the cat with a stick, Martha pushes her in the staircase and Mrs. Ivers dies. Martha lies to Mr. O'Neil and tells that a man had killed her aunt, and Walter confirms the lie. Eighteen years later, Sam (Van Heflin) is driving in the road nearby Iverstown, but he does not pay attention in a curve and hits his car in a post. He brings his car to a body shop in the industrial town, and while waiting for the repair, he meets the gorgeous Antonia Marachek (Lizabeth Scott) in front of the house where he lived. When Antonia loses her bus to her hometown, she accepts the invitation of Sam for a drink and later she goes to his hotel. On the next morning, Antonia is arrested for violation of probation, and Sam decides to pay a visit to Walter O'Neil (Kirk Douglas), now a successful district attorney and married with the wealthy Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck), to ask him to release Antonia. When Walter sees Sam, he believes Sam wants to blackmail Martha and him, and his misunderstanding leads the former friends to tragic revelations about the fatal night and discloses dirty secrets about the couple Martha and Walter.
"The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" is an amazing underrated film-noir. The flawless story is excellent, disclosed in an adequate pace and developing perfectly the despicable characters. The black & white cinematography is magnificent, and the fatal character of Barbara Stanwyck is one of the most dangerous and manipulative villains I have ever seen in a film-noir. Kirk Douglas is great in his debut, but Van Heflin and Lizabeth Scott steals the movie with their performances and chemistry. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "O Tempo Não Apaga" ("The Time Does not Erase")
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