The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

he Strange Love of Martha Ivers is a 1946 American film noir drama directed by Lewis Milestone from a screenplay written by Robert Rossen (and an uncredited Robert Riskin), based on the short story "Love Lies Bleeding" by playwright John Patrick. Produced by Hal B. Wallis, the film stars Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott and features Kirk Douglas in his film debut. The film was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film Festival. In 1974, the film entered the public domain in the United States because the claimants did not renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication. On a rainy night in 1928 in a Pennsylvania factory town called Iverstown, thirteen-year-old Martha Ivers tries to run away from the guardianship of her wealthy, domineering aunt, Mrs. Ivers, with her friend, the street-smart, poor Sam Masterson. She is caught and brought home where Martha's tutor, Walter O'Neil Sr., presents his timid son, Walter Jr., as the one responsible for Martha's recovery. Scolded by her aunt, Martha defiantly states her name is not Ivers, but Smith, her father's name. During a power failure, Sam comes for her, but Martha's aunt hears her calling to him from downstairs. While Sam slips out unnoticed, Mrs. Ivers starts beating Martha's kitten with her cane. Martha wrestles it away from her and strikes her across the head with the cane, causing her to die. When the power comes back on, Martha lies about the incident to Walter Sr. Even though Walter Jr. saw everything, he backs her up. The greedy Walter Sr. makes it clear to both Walter Jr. and Martha that he knows what happened, but that as long as he and his son stand to benefit, he will play along. Sam leaves town. Seventeen years later, in 1946, Walter Sr. is now dead and Walter Jr. is now Iverstown's district attorney and is married to Martha, who has used her inheritance to expand the Ivers milling empire. Their marriage is one-sided; he loves her, but Walter knows that she does not love him. Sam, a former soldier and itinerant gambler, drives into the small town by chance and, after an accident, leaves his car to be repaired. While waiting, he goes to look at his old home, now a boarding house. He meets Antonia "Toni" Marachek, who has just been released from jail. She misses her bus and they spend the night in adjoining rooms in a hotel. She is later picked up for violating her probation by not returning to her hometown. Sam asks Walter to use his influence to get Toni released. Source and more on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Strange_Love_of_Martha_Ivers

LicensePublic Domain

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