on 31 March 2007
when you read the commentary's about this movie, you'll notice how dissapointed people are about the poor print on dvd.
these commentary's are the same for all the prints listed here on amazon, because they correspond to the title only and not to a specific dvd release.
there is one release though wich has a very good quality of image and sound:
look for the cover in blue with a staircase in the left corner. at the top it reads: full screen (paramount dvd) collection.
the title is written in yellow.
you wont be dissapointed with this one.
on 11 February 2001
This has the classic elements of an interesting, enjoyable 1940s film noir, with the hero oscillating between two heroines, who appear in moral disguise. Barbara Stanwyck is wonderfully two-faced; Kirk Douglas puts in an amazingly assured first film appearance as her drunk husband; and Miklos Rozsa's score manages to underline the drama at the same time as commenting coolly on it.
BUT this DVD is taken from a very poor quality print, with blurred picture and crackling, hazy sound. I regret buying it, and wish I'd waited for someone to release a digitally remastered version.
on 29 August 2005
It's pouring rain as this dark noir melodrama opens, and after the night is over, it will always be raining for Martha Ivers. Lewis Milestone directed this tale of a life-long guilt that has festered until misplaced suspicion destroys one person and puts another out of her misery. There are good performances from a great cast, none better than Lizabeth Scott's as a girl down on her luck and hoping against the odds for something good to happen. She is the outside element to three lives bound together since childhood by a crime that has haunted two of them into adulthood.
This is a strange noir in many respects, mostly due to Milestone allowing the moviegoer to see the story in chronological order, rather than using flashbacks. It creates sympathy for the twisted Martha Ivers, because we know how one selfish moment of hatred in her youth set her on a coarse she can not change. It has been raining inside her ever since, until the water is sick and stagnant, but it always keeps coming. At the same time, however, we are rooting for the vulnerable Scott, hoping she'll be the victor in a battle she's not sure she can win.
Judith Anderson is Mrs. Ivers, little Martha's (Janis Wilson) aunt. She's none too nice and on a rainy night Martha causes her death in the heat of the moment, only her pal Walter (Mickey Kuhn) a witness. But they both think their friend Sam (Darryl Hickman) saw the crime also, and ran away. He did run away, but before the event that would change their lives forever.
It is nearly two decades later, and the adult Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) has an accident just outside of Iverstown. It brings back memories of when he was a brash kid, and the girl who now controls both Walter (Kirk Douglass) and the town. He meets the lovely Toni Marachek (Lizabeth Scott) on his first night there and helps her out a bit. She is fresh from jail and though Sam is a WWII veteran, his past is nothing to sneeze at either. There is something beginning between them but fate may decide Toni's future as a past Sam was no part of intrudes on the present.
Barbara Stanwyck is the adult Martha, married to the weaker of the boys from her youth, Walter. But you can tell she always wished it had been Sam who'd stayed that night so long ago. Even though they think he's there to blackmail them, she can't help but throw herself at him, even though she is too far gone on the inside for anything like real love. She does this right in front of her weak husband Walter, who may be more courageous in the end than Martha. Martha has it over on Walter because he loves her, but he is a constant reminder of the past for her. What they have together is a sick and twisted version of the real thing.
The relationship of Sam and Walter sort of mirrors their childhood but Heflin starts to feel sick about it and begins to like Walter, especially when he finally understands why they are so scared he'll tell something he didn't even know about. It's one thing to kill someone, but quite another to let someone else hang for it. All the while Toni has little moments with Sam, hoping it's enough to make him care, and blow Iverstown forever.
Even at the bitter end, there is that moment when you see in Matha's eyes, ever so briefly, that little girl again, and feel sympathy. Douglass is very good in his first screen role and Stanwyck's portrayel of the sad and sick Martha Ivers can stand proudly with any she played in the 1940's. Though her screen time is less by comparison, it is Scott who steals this film, however, as Toni is easily the most memorable character. Even when she isn't around, we are thinking about her plight, wondering where she's at and what will happen to her.
Heflin is solid as always and this is one of the great neglected noirs of the 1940's. There is a great ending where both couples get what they really want, and neither will look back on Iverstown anymore.
on 8 March 2002
Let me start by saying that the film is quite a good one and although is not a masterpiece is quite an enjoyable one. Stanwyck is at her best and as we reach the climax the more interesting the film gets. BUT the DVD is a very poor copy that you don't expect a TV station to show. The brightness changes throughout the film. Every possible thing that can make you say it's a bad copy is here. I don't have any picture that I recorded from TV as bad as this one. And this one is digital!
on 28 April 2003
Let's face it, this is not one of Lewis Milestone's best pictures, but is has its qualities, not least in the fullblown romantic scale, quite overdone, but there you have it.
YOU WILL NOT WANT THIS LASERLIGHT TRANSFER THOUGH, as it will probably be the worst you ever bought (unless you ever bought other LaserLight titles, because they are all excruciating to watch and listen to).
Please stay away from this, and bide your time, until another edition sees the light of day.
on 8 January 2010
This is a review for the Elstree Hill Entertainment issue of the movie "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers".
Wonderful as this classic movie is, if you are looking for a good quality DVD of the film, you won't find it here. This DVD is simply appalling. It looks like a copy of a copy of a badly recorded VHS tape. The picture quality is fuzzy, plenty of scratch marks, there is a line running across the top of the screen that looks like one of those VHS recording marks. During the film, the movie literally freezes a few seconds for a couple of times.
This is a bad print, even for a public domain movie. Fits into "don't take it even if they are giving it away for free" category.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is directed by Lewis Milestone and stars Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas in his film debut. Robert Rossen and Robert Riskin adapt from the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick (using the pseudonym Jack Patrick). It's produced by Hal B. Wallis, the film is scored by Miklos Rozsa, photographed by Victor Milner, the art design is by Hans Dreier and the costumes come courtesy of multi Oscar winner Edith Head.
Quite a cast, and quite a line up in the back room too, the credits also feature Robert Aldrich & Blake Edwards, taking to four the number of future directors involved in the film. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is a dark, often perverse melodramatic film noir picture. Heavily reliant on dialogue and unappealing characters, the film revels in the cruel streak that pulses right through the running time.
Stanwyck (on wickedly chilling form) plays Martha Ivers, the center piece of an explosive trio that also comprises the two men who possibly saw her club her wealthy aunt to death when they were children. After watching another man hang for the murder, Martha inherited the family fortune and has grown into a tycoon type and now holds control over Iverstown. Married to one of the witnesses (Douglas playing weak willed Walter O'Neil), she finds her world knocked out of line when Sam (Heflin superb), the other potential child witness, resurfaces. Now the guilt ridden waters have been stirred...
It's a gripping pot boiler that is tightly directed by Milestone, all the more better for the director choosing to craft the noir elements around the smouldering romantic plot lines. The setting is also classic noir, Iverstown is an on the surface all American peaceful town in nowhereville, but bubbling under the smiley surface is dark political deeds and even darker secrets. Rozsa scores it perfectly, at times jaunty to give the sense of all is well in this Americana, then quick tonal shifts grab the ears as the shadows form around the dislikable characters. Supporting actress Lizabeth Scott is appealing in one of her better roles, while Judith Anderson makes a massive impact in her short stint as the wicked Aunt.
Perhaps a touch too long at just under two hours? This none the less is a highly recommended picture for both its story and the technical nous provided by those that made it. 8/10
The story opens in 1928, as rebellious teen Martha Ivers is trying to run away from her mean and powerful aunt. Helping Martha is her pal from across the tracks, Sam. They never do escape that night, but something far more dramatic happens involving Martha, her aunt, and a kitten named Bundles.
I really enjoyed this movie, which is an unusual mix of film noir, melodrama, romance, and mystery. Barbara Stanwyck plays grown-up Martha and is perfectly cast as a tough-as-nails and utterly ruthless woman. Her husband is well-played by Kirk Douglas, in his film debut. He's very young but very confident and convincing as an alcoholic loser. The real star of the show is Van Heflin who plays grown-up Sam, a street-wise charmer who can handle himself in a fight. Heflin is handsome, charismatic, and very sympathetic and reminded me of a young William Holden. He is paired with sultry Lizabeth Scott, who was made for film noir tough gal parts.
The script is clever and fast-paced and I was on the edge of my seat right up to the very satisfying ending. If you like gritty, character-driven dramas with plenty of twists and turns, you'll like this movie.
on 4 October 2003
If you check out the film noir classic "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" because it is Kirk Douglas's first film, then you are going to be surprised that the character he plays is not a tough guy but a weakling who is dominated by his wife into becoming a criminal accomplice. Barbara Stanwyck plays the wife, the title character, in what is probably her most celebrated vixen this side of "Double Indemnity." As a teenager Martha had an innocent man sent to the gallows to cover up her accidentally killing her aunt (Judith Anderson), who was trying to stop young Martha from running away with Sam Masterson (Darryl Hickman). When Sam comes back to Iverstown years later (now played by Van Hefflin), Martha and her husband, Walter O'Neill (Douglas), assume it is to blackmail her for the murder. Ironically, Martha is wrong; Sam was not the one who witnessed the murder, it was really Walter. But in trying to "stop" Sam, the couple only succeed in destroying themselves. This is a tawdry little tale, with a neat sounding title that really does not mean anything vis-a-vis the actual story. Director Lewis Mileston, who won an Oscar for "All Quiet on the Western Front" in 1930, brings his sense of realism to this 1946 film. His use of a fluid camera style works effectively to depersonalize this nasty trio of characters. Stanwyck's performance is appropriately unsettling but it is fascinating to watch Douglas, who manages to make his unpleasant character somewhat sympathetic. No wonder he had a future in moving pictures.
on 22 January 2012
Three teenage children are in the large posh house in Iverstown on the night that Judith Anderson (Mrs Ivers) is killed by a blow to the head. We know who the killer is and the story then moves forward several years as Van Heflin (Sam) arrives back in Iverstown and hooks up with runaway Lizabeth Scott (Toni) for a night of passion. He is just drifting through town and decides to look up old friend Kirk Douglas (Walter) who is now married to Barbara Stanwyck (Martha Ivers). Heflin, Douglas and Stanwyck were the three children in the house on the night that Judith Anderson died all those years ago. Memories are revisited and paranoia sets in as the three old friends turn against each other.
This is an entertaining film that is a little long but worth the watch. You know that it's not going to turn out well for someone.....but who....? The cast are all good although I think Lizabeth Scott sounds a bit weird on occasion. We are encouraged to follow the story by sympathizing with Van Heflin but does he make it out of Iverstown? The film starts well and gets you hooked into the story on a stormy night.