"Neither of them had any right to live." When we hear Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) say this, we think we know who she means. But Rob Rossen's rich screenplay provides a nasty twist and it turns out that the sentiment applies even better to two other characters. When they meet their fates, it marks the snapping of a grim chain of events begun decades earlier. It will come as no surprise to anyone … more
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 … more
Some people call The Strange Love of Martha Ivers a noir, and a good one. Some call it a psychological study of guilt. I think it's just a melodrama, but a well-crafted one. What moves it from noir to melodrama for me is that there are two weak motivating actions for the plot; the first (the death of the aunt) doesn't have enough power to justify the drama, and the second (a conviction of an innocent man) is barely mentioned until the end of the movie. Please note that there are spoilers … more
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