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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Edward G. Robinson,
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 <email@example.com>
Knowing absolutely NOTHING about this movie (apart from it being the screen debut of Kirk Douglas) I thought it was going to be a potboiler, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It veers between Noir and melodrama, and I gotta say I was hooked from the get go. I'm not the biggest Barbara Stanwyck fan in the world, but she was well cast as the ruthless matriarch of a small town, and Douglas really pulled off an unusual role for him (basically a drunken wimp). Van Heflin ('Shane') plays the "hero" and holds his own against those two, and I also really liked Lizabeth Scott, an actress I'm not familiar with, who plays Heflin's love interest (sorta). 'The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers' will please fans of 1940s Noir. It deserves to be better known than it is.
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