Best Movies by Farr
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Poster
Released Runtime Category
1946 115 Film Noir, Mystery/Thrillers, Romance
Director Language
Lewis Milestone English
Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

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What's it About

When Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) returns to his hometown after decades away, he's surprised to learn his old flame, Martha Ivers (Stanwyck) — now a wealthy, self-made industrialist — has married childhood friend Walter O'Neil (Douglas), a weak-willed alcoholic. Suspecting that Masterson has returned to blackmail her over the dark secret she shares with Walter, now the town's district attorney, Martha begins to plot against her former lover.

Why we love it

Kirk Douglas made his first screen appearance in Milestone's simmering noir drama, playing a guilt-ridden, defeated cuckold. Starring alongside the future A-lister was Stanwyck, a calculating harpy who's scornful of Walter and distrustful of Masterson, but still in love with the man who might cause her ruination. Produced for Paramount by the seasoned Hal Wallis, "Martha Ivers" is dark, gripping, and exceptionally strong on character.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"