MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 641 this week

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

 -  Drama | Film-Noir  -  24 July 1946 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,658 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 29 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 09 Apr 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 22 Jan 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 02 Jun 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 04 Jan 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 29 May 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even it if means murder.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea
I Walk Alone (1948)
Film-Noir | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a plot for murder and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky
My Reputation (1946)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A recent widow meets an army major while skiing and despite pressures from friends and family becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Warner Anderson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »

Director: Dudley Nichols
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Michael Redgrave, Raymond Massey
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Struggling artist Geoffrey Carroll meets Sally whilst on holiday in the country. A romance develops but he doesn't tell her he's already married. Suffering from mental illness, Geoffreyy ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Alexis Smith
Pitfall (1948)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

John Forbes is a family man who's tired of the 9 to 5 humdrum of his job an insurance company executive. Life gets a little more exciting for him when he calls upon femme fatale Mona ... See full summary »

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt
The Stranger (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Thelma Jordon is in love with a jewel thief, Tony Laredo, and he persuades her to go live with her rich aunt, and steal her jewels. During the robbery, she shoots her formerly-rich aunt, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Antonia 'Toni' Marachek
...
Walter O'Neil
...
Mrs. Ivers
Roman Bohnen ...
Mr. O'Neil
...
Sam as a Boy
Janis Wilson ...
Martha as a Girl
...
Bobbi St. John
Frank Orth ...
Hotel Clerk
James Flavin ...
Detective #1
Mickey Kuhn ...
Walter as a Boy
Charles D. Brown ...
McCarthy - Private Detective
Edit

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate drew them together... and only murder could part them!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Lies Bleeding  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 12, 1947 with Van Heflin reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

When Walter O'Neil asks his secretary to get the county jail on the phone for him, he's connected and on the line with someone in two seconds. See more »

Quotes

Toni Marachek: [Offering a hotel room Gideon Bible] I'll loan you a book for a couple of cigarettes if you don't mind what kind of book it is.
See more »


Soundtracks

Strange Love
Written by Eddie Heyman & Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Whisper her name: Stanwyck as twisted steeltown autocrat
24 May 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Lewis Milestone's The Strange Love of Martha Ivers presents a, well, strange case. Much if not most of it fits comfortably into the noir cycle that was just gathering its head of steam. But its look, save some recurrent bus-station shots, suggests lavish and well-lit prestige productions (as does its length), and in its deep-rooted narrative it harks back to sprawling, brooding melodramas such as Kings Row.

That narrative is broken-backed as well, with two disjointed time frames. The movie opens in 1928 in sooty Iverstown, a steel city almost certainly somewhere in Pennsylvania. There we meet, as teenagers, three of the story's principals: Unruly Martha, making yet another attempt to run away from her wealthy, rigid aunt (Judith Anderson); her street-urchin buddy Sammy; and prissy school-teacher's son Walter. On the night Anderson is bludgeoned to death (to the tune of lightning, thunder and crashing rains), Sammy waits for Martha to join him; when she doesn't, he signs up with the circus and blows town.

Fast-forward to 1946, when decorated veteran Sammy (Van Heflin), headed west, cracks up his car and finds himself once more in Iverstown. He meets up with the fourth main character, Lizabeth Scott, who not unlike himself has been knocked about (she's a jailbird). When the police lock her up for violating parole, he pays a visit to his old friend Walter (Kirk Douglas, in his debut), now the district attorney, to secure her release.

Douglas, who rarely draws a sober breath, holds the office thanks to the ambition and power of his wife Martha (Barbara Stanwyck). (The original publicity campaign cautioned `Whisper her name!') When she shows up unexpectedly and warmly greets Heflin, all Douglas' insecurities and jealousies erupt; not only does he suspect that Heflin has always been his wife's first love but he fears that Heflin, privy to the long-buried secret of the aunt's death, can undo his marriage, his success, and the industrial empire Stanwyck has built. He takes heavy-handed measures to defend himself, blackmailing Scott into framing Heflin. But hasn't reckoned with the resourcefulness of his adversary – or with the wilfulness of his wife.

But the story is really plotted along romantic coordinates whose intersections are punctuated by Miklos Rozsa's throbbing score. Douglas loves Stanwyck, who really loves Heflin, while Scott loves Heflin, who loves her back but still has unfinished business with Stanwyck (no wonder Douglas drinks – nobody loves him). And in the rondelay of turnabouts and betrayals (or seeming betrayals), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers slips perilously close to soap opera. Its stately pace and prosperous look give it a dated, ponderous feel, quite unlike the rough sleekness of film noir, though there's an unmistakable echo of Double Indemnity – Stanwyck's performance as Martha Ivers reworks hers as Phyllis Dietrichson, right down to the concluding love-death tableau.

But, while occasionally cumbersome, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers stands on its own as an overwrought, obsessive drama, with a very topical acknowledgment of the insulation that money and power can buy, and of the moral and social corruption that inflexibly comes as part of the package. It's a strange movie, all right, but a haunting one as well.


32 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about scene driving into Iverstown eugenie51
Lizbeth Scott DianaDorsFan
Van Heflin...!!! olebuttermilksky5-1
judith anderson as Mrs. Ivers ksf-2
Praised, but still underrated. danielj_old999
Lizabeth Scott is the Real Star kjewitt
Discuss The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?