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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.

I've just watched the film again and I've had to take my mark down a star to 3. It drags.
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on 27 April 2017
You can pay a lot of money to go to the cinema these days but films like this bring back the real wonder of great storytelling, acting and direction. I wish I'd done it!
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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.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 June 2012
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.
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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.
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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!
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on 2 November 2014
Not the best quality but nonetheless a thoroughly watchable drama. About accidental murder, greed and murky family secrets. To be fair, Barbara Stanwyck elevates any movie she is in to something truly special. One of my favourite actresses from that era.
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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.
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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.
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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.

enjoy !!
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